Oracle said it plans to buy Responsys, a business-to-consumer marketing software vendor. The $1.5 billion deal is set to pit Oracle directly against Microsoft and Salesforce while increasing the variety Oracle's own offerings.
The Oracle-Responsys deal is worth $1.5 billion, which translates to $27 per share. The purchase will be concluded by Q2 2014.
"Investors want Oracle to put more fuel in the growth engine," says FNR Capital Markets & Co. analyst Daniel Ives. "Marketing automation is one of the hyper-growth areas within the cloud." This reflects the trend in many technology companies that are prioritizing spending on cloud computing development over other more traditional IT expenditures.
Responsys is an ideal fit for Oracle's current needs since the company specializes in products and services that clients can use to automate marketing campaigns for their own offerings. Responsys' services include marketing across social media, websites and email. The company also boasts an impressive array of customization options that its clients can use to tailor for their marketing needs.
Marketing remains on top of the lists as one of the biggest budgetary items for many companies regardless of size and scale. Companies like Responsys cater to the demand offering a cloud-based solution to consolidate marketing efforts into a single cohesive stratagem.
Oracle will reap a number of benefits if the deal pushes through. While Oracle can definitely put Responsys' product line to good use, it also stands to gain simply from taking the valuable company off the market and away from the prying hands of its rivals. Potential clients can also now consolidate both their business to business and business to consumer marketing campaigns with a single service provider.
"Recognizing the unique needs of the CMO in B2B and B2C industries, the Oracle Marketing Cloud is now the only platform to unite enterprise-class leaders in these historically distinct marketing-automation fields," says Mark Hurd, President, Oracle. "Our strategy of combining the leaders across complementary technologies signifies Oracle's overwhelming commitment to winning and serving the CMO better than any other software company in the world."
"Responsys has always been focused on helping marketers realize their largest opportunity - coordinating their marketing touch points across channels, across the customer lifecycle, and across industries, and as a part of Oracle, we will only accelerate our efforts," says Dan Springer, CEO, Responsys. "Oracle not only shares our vision, but is the proven leader in bringing together best-in-class technologies and companies to realize the largest enterprise opportunities. We couldn't be more excited about what this means for our customers and employees."
While the deal is already on the table, Responsys shareholders have yet to approve the deal. Essentially, this means that Oracle's rivals Microsoft and Salesforce may still swoop in and start a bidding war. Both Salesforce and Microsoft have shown a fairly aggressive stance. Salesforce recently bought ExactTarget for $2.5 billion and a year ago, Microsoft bought Marketing Pilot for an undisclosed sum.
Shares of Responsys closed up 40.34 percent at $27.40 on the Nasdaq on Friday. Oracle shares closed down 0.63 percent at $36.37 on the NYSE.