Salesforce.com shares soared 12 percent Wednesday, to $74.65, after Bloomberg News reported that the cloud computing software pioneer could be a takeover target.
Bloomberg reported that Salesforce.com is “working with financial advisors after being approached by a potential acquirer.” The Bloomberg report quoted an unidentified source as saying “bankers may help rebuff any suitor or work out an eventual sale.”
With a market capitalization of $47.01 billion, a Salesforce.com acquisition would be one of the largest technology acquisitions ever. Such a deal, analysts said, could only be financed by one of a handful of Fortune 100 companies such as Oracle, Microsoft, IBM or SAP.
Several Wall Street analysts cited Oracle as the most likely buyer, while a report in Fortune centered on Microsoft as the most likely company eyeing Salesforce.
Oracle, Microsoft and Salesforce.com all refused to comment.
Andrew O’Driscoll, national partner executive in the Salesforce business unit at Perficient, a solution provider headquartered in St. Louis, said he believes the most likely buyer is either Oracle or Microsoft, as both companies have strong product ties and product integration with Salesforce.com popular CRM cloud application.
Furthermore, Microsoft and Salesforce.com have become closer in the past year in terms of partnerships. One reason for Microsoft to make the acquisition is culture, Fortune wrote.
“(Microsoft CEO Satya) Nadella would consider the move a radical opportunity to shake up Microsoft’s culture by relocating the company’s headquarters to San Francisco and leaving behind some of Microsoft’s hidebound ways,” it wrote.
[highlight type=”one”]An acquisition of Salesforce.com by any vendor would be a huge undertaking given Salesforce.com’s market cap, said Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 234 on the 2014 CRN Solution Provider 500.[/highlight]
[highlight type=”one”]”If someone does make a deal, the question is, will they have the wherewithal to grow the business or continue on the trajectory that Salesforce.com is on,” Venero told CRN. “There are a lot of unknowns associated with a deal of this size. There would have to be a tremendous amount of discovery that would have to take place and there would be regulatory and compliance issues that would have to be dealt with by the acquirer.”[/highlight]