Salesforce Buys ExactTarget for $2.5 Billion

CEO says acquisition is 'most important ever'

Headshot of Christopher Heine has agreed to purchase digital marketing services firm ExactTarget for $2.5 billion, the companies revealed today.

ExactTarget launched in 2000 before growing into one of the premiere email service providers. But in recent years, it seemingly has stretched its expertise into social media promotions and other digital advertising realms, attracting clients like Gannett, Home Depot, Papa John's, Expedia and other big brands. The Indianapolis-based company is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

For seven years, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has acquired both blue-chip companies and startups in an effort to bolster his San Francisco-based firm's significant digital prowess. Recent notables include data startup Radian6 (March 2011) and Facebook marketing domino Buddy Media (May 2012).

Benioff reportedly called the ExactTarget pick-up his software giant's "most important ever," but also said that acquisition time may be over for now.

"I really think what you are going to see is us taking a vacation from M&A for anywhere between probably 12 and 18 months," Benioff said on conference call this morning, per Reuters.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.
Publish date: June 4, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT