Oracle Corp agreed to buy Eloqua Inc, a maker of web-based marketing
automation software that listed in August, for about $810 million as it
seeks to expand its cloud-computing services.
Eloqua makes software to
help businesses predict and grow revenue by monitoring marketing and
sales initiatives. Its customers include AON Plc, Dow Jones, Automatic
Data Processing Inc, Polycom Inc and National Instruments Corp.
which came late to cloud computing, is trying to be a one-stop shop for
operating systems, databases, computer programs and infrastructure over
"The acquisition of Eloqua will add a leading market
automation solution to Oracle's strong salesforce automation products
and the recently acquired RightNow call center automation solution,"
Nomura Equity Research analysts said in a research note.
bought RightNow Technologies last year for $1.5 billion, sparking
several more acquisitions in the cloud-computing market including IBM
Inc's acquisition of Kenexa and SAP AG's purchase of SuccessFactors.
Oracle, which has traditionally offered installed software products, then bought Taleo, a cloud-based HR software firm.
would expect Oracle to continue to make acquisitions in this space, to
bolster its Fusion Applications suite and respond to competitive
pressure in the applications market from SAP and Salesforce.co," Nomura
Oracle priced the deal at $871 million, net of Eloqua's
cash. Based on the 34.5 million Eloqua shares outstanding as of October
31, the equity portion of the deal came to $810 million.
computing, a broad term referring to the delivery of services via the
Internet from remote data centers, is a favorite with corporate
technology buyers because it is faster to implement and has lower
upfront costs than traditional software.
Oracle Chief Executive
Larry Ellison mocked cloud computing in 2008 as "complete gibberish". He
described it as a fad, comparing the computer industry to the fashion
But Oracle has since introduced its own web products and
acquired several firms selling internet-based software as its corporate
customers embraced web services offered by Salesforce.com Inc,
Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc.
"Although Oracle already had strong
marketing functionality, this gives it a cloud offering to deliver and
an additional base of midmarket customers providing a recurring license
maintenance stream," Nucleus Research analyst Rebecca Wettemann said.
The company's $23.50 per share offer for Eloqua represents a 31 percent premium to Eloqua's Nasdaq close on Wednesday.
Eloqua shares jumped to match the offer price while Oracle's shares were flat at $34.05 on the Nasdaq.
leading marketing automation cloud will become the centerpiece of the
Oracle Marketing Cloud," said Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President of
Eloqua's board has unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2013.
said on Tuesday that software sales growth will stay strong into the
new year despite fears that there could be big tax hikes and U.S.
government spending cuts that could cause a slump in spending by
© Thomson Reuters 2012