Acquisition-hungry Oracle said Thursday it will pay about $871 million to acquire marketing automation SaaS specialist Eloqua.
The deal nets out to $23.50 per share of the startup, representing a 31 percent premium over Eloqua's Wednesday Nasdaq closing price.
Oracle expects to combine Eloqua platforms with its own to create a "Customer Experience Cloud" for helping customers change the way they market. Oracle's Customer Experience offering already includes the Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle Content Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud platforms.
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"Modern marketing practices are driving revenue growth and [are] a critical area of investment for companies today," Thomas Kurian, executive vice president, Oracle Development, said in a statement.
Eloqua has about 1,200 customers and some 100,000 global users, according to Oracle. Its software provides seamless integration with major CRM platforms and a range of enterprise systems. In addition, there's Eloqua AppCloud, an open online marketplace through which customers can extend Eloqua platforms with third-party applications.
Founded in 2000 and based in Vienna, Va., Eloqua went public in August, raising more than $90 million. The company posted losses in 2010 and 2011 and has previously warned it would not be consistently profitable.
Oracle expects the deal to close in the first half of 2013.
Oracle has kept up a steady pace of M&A activity throughout 2012, having said earlier this month it would acquire DataRaker, a data analysis application developer. It's acquired or is in the process of acquiring a dozen companies in 2012, including talent management software company Taleo, social marketing provider Vitrue, and network virtualization specialist Xsigo.
Oracle earlier this week reported strong growth for its fiscal second quarter, including an 18 percent rise in quarterly profits and across-the-board revenue increases in all of its product sectors.
PUBLISHED DEC. 20, 2012