Salesforce Buys Tableau For $15.7 Billion Shortly After Google's Looker Acquisition

Salesforce Merger
The company logo for Salesforce.com is displayed on the Salesforce Tower in New York City (Photo: Reuters / Brendan McDermid)

In a huge move that immediately follows Google's acquisition of data analytics firm Looker, cloud-based software company Salesforce announced this week that it would be purchasing Tableau Software for $15.7 billion. The all-stock deal is the company's latest move to ramp up its data visualization tools and to diversify its offerings for its customers. 

The Seattle-based tech firm is currently publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Salesforce is planning to conduct the purchase through Tableau's Class A and Class B common stock. Each stock will be exchanged with 1.103 shares of Salesforce's common stock. Based on the current market prices for Salesforce's common stock, the company will essentially be paying $15.7 billion for Tableau.

Salesforce will be paying quite a hefty premium for the software company, which had a market value of $10.79 billion based on its stock prices last week. Trading was halted last week following news of the company's acquisition. According to Salesforce's official announcement, both parties have already approved the deal.

The agreement reportedly will allow Tableau to operate independently. The company will still be headed by its CEO Adam Selpisky, but Salesforce will be adding some of its executives into the leadership team. Tableau will also still remain in its headquarters in Seattle, with it also serving as Salesforce's second headquarters.

In an effort to further expand its engagements, Salesforce had previously been eyeing different tech firms to acquire. The company had initially planned to purchase Linkedin. However, Microsoft beat the company to it and acquired Linkedin back in 2016. Salesforce has since been on the lookout for other tech firms to acquire, which it planned to use to diversify its offerings beyond its core CRM software products.

While it's not yet clear if Salesforce initiated the acquisition as a direct response to Google's acquisition of Looker, it is certain that the company is preparing itself to become a major player in the budding data analytics industry. The company's chairman, Marc Benioff mentioned in a statement that the combination of the world's top CRM provider and the top analytics platform should result in a collaboration that would essentially be a match made in heaven.

Salesforce specializes in engaging and understanding customers, while Tableau helps them understand their data. Salesforce plans to expand its Einstein platform with data analytics tools from Tableau. The company believes that the merger of both companies' expertise should provide comprehensive products to its customers to help them discover actionable insights within their companies.

Tableau currently works with over 86,000 customers, helping them make sense of the large amounts of data they gather. Some of the company's biggest clients include Netflix, Verizon, Charles Schwab, and Schneider Electric. 

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