Multiple media sources are reporting that CRM software company Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) has hired banking consultants to assist the firm in assessing takeover offers after being approached by a potential acquirer. However, as usual there is no certainty any deal will be finalized, noted anonymous sources with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations. Of note, the sources did not identify potential acquirers. Hired gun financial advisers will help in encouraging or rebuffing suitors and to assist in negotiating an eventual sale.
According to data from Bloomberg, a takeover of Salesforce, with a market value of nearly $44 billion based on yesterday’s close, would represent the largest deal ever for a software company. Analysts point out that anyone willing to pay a significant premium for Salesforce is planning an aggressive push into cloud computing (the online delivery of business software and services) as that is the core strength of Salesforce.
Chi Hea Cho, a spokeswoman for the firm, would not comment for this story on the record.
Shares of Salesforce are up 13% at $75 per share as of 3 PM ET Wednesday. Today’s action has added close to $7 billion to the company’s market cap.
In terms of potential suitors, Salesforce would be a nice addition to the portfolios of its largest rivals Oracle, Microsoft and SAP. Keep in mind that all these companies have their own customer relationship management (CRM) technologies, but Salesforce has the largest CRM software market share, according to a ranking by research firm Gartner published 11 months ago.
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Founded back in 1999 as firm to produce software for salespeople, Salesforce has become a global leader in the cloud enterprise software market in just a decade and a half. Analysts note that the company’s main product is a very popular CRM software suite that is designed to assist salespeople in tracking sales leads and optimizing sales strategies.