It's official: Adobe will acquire Marketo for $4.75 billion

WorkSpan/YouTubeMarketo CEO Steve Lucas
  • Adobe will acquire marketing software company Marketo, the company announced Thursday.
  • The price tag: $US4.75 billion.
  • Marketo is owned by private equity firm Vista Equity Partners who bought the company for $US1.8 billion in 2016.

UPDATE: Adobe confirmed on Thursday that it will acquire Marketo for $US4.75 billion.

Adobe is in late stage talks to acquire Marketo and a deal could be announced in the next several days, according to a source familiar with the company.

Marketo, privately held marketing automation company, could sell for more than $US5 billion, the source said. Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners bought the company for $US1.8 billion in 2016.

Adobe, which is looking to enhance its offerings in the business-to-business space, looked like it would near a deal late last week, according to sources familiar. Reuters first reported Adobe’s interest, which Business Insider separately confirmed.

Adobe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Marketo grows Adobe’s foothold in business-to-business

The deal, which was first reported by CNBC, is highly strategic for Adobe as it increases its foothold in the business-to-business space.

The deal has “competitive implications for Salesforce,” analyst Terry Tillman of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey wrote in a note to clients earlier this week.

“Adobe has increasingly become a competitor to Salesforce, especially post its recent acquisition of Magento in the digital commerce market. Given Marketo’s market leadership serving the marketing automation needs of enterprise B2B organisations, consolidation of Marketo could create increased competitive dynamics in Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud business,” Tillman wrote.

Salesforce and Marketo have partnered together for years, though that relationship was complicated in 2013, when Salesforce acquired Marketo competitor ExactTarget for $US2.5 billion. ExactTarget eventually became the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Adobe has made several strategic acquisitions in recent months, including the acquisition of the e-commerce platform Magento Commerce for $US1.68 billion in May. In April, Abode acquired the computer vision software company Uru, as well as Sayspring, a platform for creating voice-enabled apps.

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