Salesforce to buy data analytics firm Tableau in $15.7bn deal

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Salesforce has agreed to pay $15.7bn for Tableau Software, in the biggest deal to date for the highly acquisitive cloud software group run by Marc Benioff.

Salesforce said on Monday it would buy Tableau, which makes data analytics software that turns raw data into visualisations, in an all-share deal. The valuation is net of cash.

Salesforce has bought dozens of companies since it was founded in 1999 by Mr Benioff, a former Oracle executive. Last year, it paid $6.8bn for Mulesoft, a data integration platform.

Mr Benioff has attracted attention for aggressive acquisitions, even mulling a bid for Twitter. Outside Salesforce, he and his wife bought Time Magazine for $190m last year.

Salesforce’s move comes at a time when the San Francisco-based cloud computing company has been forced to ramp up investment because of mounting competition from Oracle, Microsoft and other large rivals.

The deal will help Salesforce bolster its growing dominance in managing the data, information and analytics of its blue-chip customers, an industry that it expects will be worth nearly $2tn by 2020.

The acquisition is just the latest multi billion-dollar deal in the enterprise software market, after IBM paid $34bn for Red Hat and SAP bought Qualtrics for $8bn late last year. Just last week, Google spent $2.6bn just last week on Looker, a younger rival in data analytics.

Tableau, which was born on the campus of Stanford University, has more than 86,000 customers, including telecoms group Verizon, US airline Southwest and streaming video service Netflix. The company’s products allow organisations to visualise big data in chart or map form without writing any code.

Salesforce said it expected the deal would bolster its revenues in fiscal 2020 by as much as $400m. Tableau last year reported a loss of $77m on … Read More...