Microsoft reported to weigh Salesforce.com bid – USA TODAY
Salesforce.com shares popped Tuesday after a report that Microsoft might be interested in the cloud software company.
According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is considering a bid for Salesforce.com, one week following a report the company was fielding bids for a potential takeover.
Salesforce shares (CRM) closed up 1.6% to $72.75 a share after a brief halt in trading after the news emerged. The stock rose more than 3% after it resumed trading. The company’s shares had surged 12% to a record in late April after a report it had hired financial advisers to field takeover inquiries.
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) Tuesday fell 1.3% to $47.60.
“Salesforce does not comment on rumors or speculation,” Salesforce said in an emailed statement. Microsoft declined to comment.
Citing “people with knowledge of the matter,” the Bloomberg report said Microsoft is weighing the bid after another unidentified buyer stepped forward. Both companies have yet to start talks on a possible deal.
Cloud computing, in which companies can store mass amounts of data to be retrieved online, has become an area of growth for Microsoft under CEO Satya Nadella — and a competitive business generally. Microsoft has long expected to have to compete for Salesforce.com if it were ever in play, Bloomberg said.
In April, Microsoft said commercial cloud revenue grew 106% to $6.3 billion for the quarter ended in March. The commercial cloud business, driven by products such as Office 365, Azure and Dynamics CRM Online, contributed to half of all of Microsoft’s commercial revenue during the quarter, the company said.
A Microsoft merger with Salesforce.com would make a “ton of sense,” said Daniel Ives, analyst with FBR Capital in a research note. Ives said a marriage between the two companies would easily create “the biggest acquisition in enterprise software history.”
He also tossed out Oracle and Amazon.com as potential acquirers and said he could see a “potential bidding war” for the $50 billion cloud computing company.
Microsoft, valued at $385 billion, has already notched two major tech deals in recent years. In September 2013, Microsoft announced it would acquire Nokia’s handset business for $7 billion. Last September, Microsoft scooped up the video game franchise Minecraft for $2.5 billion.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
Contributing: Kaja Whitehouse