Salesforce is the subject of takeover rumors, and is taking steps to help itself.
Bloomberg is reporting that Salesforce has employed financial advisors after they were approached about being acquired, said sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. The interest is from an as yet unknown company.
The financial advisors can help facilitate the sale, allow the sale, or simply deny the sale to protect Salesforce. News of the possible acquisition jumped Salesforce stock by 11.6 percent, raising its value to $49 million.
The possible acquisition of Salesforce would be the biggest software company takeover ever, and for the potential buyer, it would bring them into the biggest cloud computing company out there. Cloud computing is offering your services and software via the internet. This move could also fortify the portfolios of rivals Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp., and SAP SE.
All three listed rivals have their own cloud and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and adding Salesforce would be a huge upgrade. All trail Salesforce in market share, according to Gartner Inc.'s annual ranking. Oracle looks to be the most realistic buyer of the three rivals, FBR & Company's Daniel Ives wrote Wednesday.
"Oracle is desperate to establish itself as a leader in the cloud, and acquiring the leading cloud company and bringing on board a visionary leader in Marc Benioff (Salesforce CEO)would help toward accomplishing this goal," Ives wrote.
According to Forbes, Salesforce has not given any indication previously that they would consider the possibility of being acquired. Salesforce has always been fiercely proud of being at the forefront of the CRM industry, believing that their product is without question the best on the market.
Salesforce is still considered a big prize to those who have the financing to acquire them. But, the question becomes at this point, would a company buy Salesforce and put them under their umbrella, or would they purchase Salesforce and rebrand them under the new ownership, repurposing all that Salesforce has done?
If Salesforce does indeed get sold, the industry loses a visionary in Benioff. Benioff took years to convince businesses that CRM cloud software was the future, and far more viable than what was available then. Once that fight was done, Benioff worked on Salesforce itself, encouraging employees to volunteer in their area, and offering relocation for local employees. Benioff has made himself a social arbiter, as well, speaking out against Indiana's first iteration of their Religious Freedom law.
The question now becomes, if Salesforce is sold, what happens to Benioff? Does he take a golden egg payment and walk away from Salesforce, or work under the rules of the new company? Either way, that loss would be a detriment to the industry.
[Image courtesy of Glance]