Salesforce acquires workplace chats app Slack for $27.7 billion

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Salesforce is buying workplace messaging app Slack for $27.7 billion, marking the largest acquisition in the San Francisco-based cloud-based company’s history.

Under the terms of the agreement, Slack (WORK) shareholders will receive $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce stock per Slack share. Salesforce (CRM) announced the deal Tuesday in conjunction with its earnings release for its third quarter 2021.

The move will allow Salesforce (CRM), which sells cloud-based customer relationship management software and other enterprise applications, to bolster its business offerings.

Slack’s stock was essentially flat in afterhours trading Tuesday. Salesforce shares fell more than 4%.

Salesforce posted third quarter revenue of $5.42 billion, up 20% from the same period in the prior year, and diluted earnings per share of $1.15. The results beat analyst expectations, but revenue growth slowed compared to the two earlier quarters in this fiscal year.

The company raised its revenue guidance for the full 2021 fiscal year to approximately $21.10 billion to $21.11 billion, which would mark a year-over-year increase of about 23%. It also provided full year 2022 revenue guidance of approximately $25.45 billion to $25.55 billion, which includes about $600 million related to the Slack acquisition.

The company also announced the retirement of Chief Financial Officer and President Mark Hawkins, who will leave his role on January 31 and transition to an advisory role as Salesforce’s CFO emeritus through October 2021. He will be replaced by Amy Weaver, who is currently Salesforce’s president and chief legal officer.

The Salesforce-Slack deal

Launched in 2013, Slack is a workplace communications tool popular among tech companies, media firms and retailers — it is used by Amazon (AMZN), IBM (IBM), TD Ameritrade (AMTD) and others, including CNN. It’s been an especially strong year for the company, with its stock up more than 59% since the beginning of 2020, as businesses scrambled to manage remote teams.

In June, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield announced there is still uncertainty around its growth, especially as businesses pull back on spending: “Existing customers are using Slack more. Individual users are using Slack at a greater percentage of their day. But at the same time, when [our customers] feel pain, we feel pain.”

In its most recent quarterly earnings report in September, the company reported more than 130,000 paid customers, up 30% year-over-year.

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