Salesforce to Buy Tableau in $15.3 Billion Deal, Its Biggest Acquisition

Salesforce, the cloud computing pioneer, will buy the big data firm Tableau Software for $15.3 billion, the company announced Monday, marking the biggest acquisition in its history as it looks to offer more data insights to its clients.

Tableau, based in Seattle, has more than 86,000 customers, including tech heavyweights like Verizon Communications and Netflix.

As part of the all-stock deal, Tableau shareholders will get 1.103 Salesforce shares, valuing the offer at $177.88 per share. That figure represents a premium of 42 percent to Tableau’s closing price on Friday.

Salesforce’s deal comes days after Google bought the big-data analytics company Looker for $2.6 billion. It surpasses the $5.9 billion the software company paid to buy the American software maker MuleSoft in 2018.

“The acquisition accelerates Salesforce’s road map for their Customer 360 initiative, which helps companies gain a complete view of their customers, and more broadly their analytics initiative,” Steve Koenig, a Wedbush Securities analyst, said.

Big data analytics is a complex process used to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends and customer preferences that often help companies make better business decisions.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, after which Tableau will operate independently, led by Adam Selipsky, its chief executive officer, and its current leadership team.

“Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers,” Marc Benioff, the co-chief executive officer of Salesforce, said.

The San Francisco-based company said the deal was likely to add as much as $400 million to its 2020 revenue, but would decrease adjusted profit by about 37 cents to 39 cents per share. Salesforce said it now expected 2020 adjusted profit in the range of $2.51 to $2.53 per share. Analysts were expecting $2.90 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Shares of Tableau jumped 35 percent, to $169.50, while those of Salesforce fell 5 percent, to $156.43, in premarket trading.

“Salesforce shares are trading down, may be out of fears that the company is buying growth because organic growth is slowing. It’s a natural question to ask,” Mr. Koenig said.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch was the financial adviser to Salesforce and Goldman Sachs advised Tableau in the deal.

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