Tech

Salesforce to buy Slack for $28bn in cash, shares – and vows to make it the new face of Customer 360

Salesforce has signed a definitive agreement to buy Slack for $27.7bn in cash and stock, and plans to make the collaboration tool the interface for Salesforce Customer 360, the system it sells to create a single customer ID and profiles.

The CRM giant’s announcement today stated Slack will become “an operating unit of Salesforce and will continue to be led by [Slack] CEO Stewart Butterfield.”

“Slack will be deeply integrated into every Salesforce Cloud,” the blurb continued. “As the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360, Slack will transform how people communicate, collaborate and take action on customer information across Salesforce as well as information from all of their other business apps and systems”.

The announcement added that Salesforce believes its size and reach means “Slack will be able to expand its presence in the enterprise, not just among Salesforce customers, but for any company undergoing digital transformation.”

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Slack’s announcement stated the combined entity “will give companies a single source of truth for their business and a unified platform for connecting employees, customers and partners with each other and the apps they use every day, all within their existing workflows.”

The boards of both companies approved the deal though Slack shareholders are yet to OK it. Salesforce’s offer is for $26.79 per Slack share, plus 0.0776 Salesforce shares. Salesforce was trading at $241 per share at the time of writing.

Slack’s share price is $43.84 at the time of writing, so the offer represents a premium of $1.35 though it also asks Slack shareholders to decide that Salesforce shares represent more upside than cash in the hand. If Slack shareholders think that’s enough of a premium, the two companies are eyeing a Q2 2022 close for the transaction.

Salesforce will fund the cash portion of the deal with money it has in the bank plus new debt. The software-as-a-service titan says it has secured a $10bn facility to help make the deal happen. Neither companies’ statement offered any insights into the future of Slack’s free offering. Salesforce MVP Jodie Minks thinks the deal changes nothing for Slack users, and is no reason to give up on Salesforce’s current collaboration tools:

Salesforce also announced [PDF] its financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal 2021 today, reporting revenue of $5.42bn, up 20 percent year-over-year, and did not just issue full-year guidance of $21.10bn but predict FY22 revenue of $25.5bn. ®




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