Salesforce’s M&A Target List Had 14 Names, But Not Twitter Inc

Salesforce’s M&A Target List Had 14 Names, But Not Twitter Inc
Photo by edisona (Pixabay)

Twitter was never on Salesforce’s acquisition list, which, as of May, was looking at more than a dozen acquisition targets. According to The Wall Street Journal, Salesforce may not have been as interested in getting its hands on the micro-blogging site as many thought. The report cited was actually a part of documents that were obtained a few months ago by hacktivists DCLeaks.

Twitter not on Salesforce’s target list

Citing an internal presentation allegedly obtained from former Secretary of State and Salesforce Director Colin Powell the WSJ lists 14 companies, including Marketo, Adobe Systems, Hubspot, PegaSystems, Demandware, Tableau, and LinkedIn, as possible candidates.

According to the presentation, Box and Zendesk were mentioned as well, but their chief executives had less interest.  The presentation, which was marked “draft and confidential” and titled “M&A Target Review,” is a 60-slide document which identified 14 possible acquisition targets.

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NetSuite was on the list as well, with a cautionary note that Larry Ellison, Oracle’s chief executive, owned 47% of that company. Salesforce and Oracle, which were once tight allies, are now much more competitive. In July, Oracle announced its plan to buy NetSuite for $9.3 billion, notes Fortune.

According to the WSJ, several companies that were on the list refused to comment on the matter, but a Pegasystems spokesperson said they had no discussions with Salesforce on the topic of acquisition, though it was flattering to be on the acquisition target list of another organization.

How real is Salesforce’s target list?

Though the authenticity of these documents has not been confirmed, the names on the list do make sense. Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce, has acknowledged his pursuit of LinkedIn publicly. In addition, the cloud computing company did buy Demandware for $2.8 billion.

Chi Hea Cho, vice president of Corporate Communications for Salesforce, told Fortune that the company has a thoughtful and disciplined M&A process in which they survey the industry landscape across several companies regularly but buy very few.

“The presentation is a broad survey of publicly traded companies in May 2016, and the appearance of company names on the list doesn’t imply Salesforce ever intended to acquire them,” Cho said.

Now all eyes will be on Twitter’s earnings report, which is due on Thursday, Oct. 27. On Tuesday, Twitter shares closed up 0.6% at $16.83. Year to date, the stock is down more than 24%, while in the last year, it is down almost 46%. The stock has a 52-week high of $31.87 and a 52-week low of $13.73.

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