Salesforce.com Buys Buddy Media for $690M, Plans to Augment Radian6

6/4/12Follow @jpruth

In an effort to beef up its cloud-based social marketing services, San Francisco’s Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM)  announced today it acquired New York’s Buddy Media for nearly $690 million in cash, stock, and options.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said during a conference call the deal is the largest acquisition to date for his company and is expected to close in its fiscal third quarter, which ends October 31. Salesforce has its roots in customer relationship management and took a big bite of social media monitoring in 2011, when the company acquired Radian6. Now with the acquisition of five-year-old Buddy Media, a social media marketing company, Salesforce said it will offer these services through one unified platform.

Buddy Media has nearly 1,000 customers, such as Mattel, L’Oreal, and Ford. Companies use Buddy Media’s cloud-based software platform to publish content and place social ads through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google. “Facebook has become the new corporate homepage,” Benioff said during the call. “That is why we are doubling down on the Salesforce marketing cloud.” He expects Buddy Media to help Salesforce capture more social marketing business and accelerate his company’s growth.

The deal includes $467 million cash, $184 million in stock, and $38 million in vested options and restricted stock. Buddy Media’s senior leadership, including co-founder and CEO Michael Lazerow, will receive retention equity to keep them onboard after the acquisition.

Benioff said he met with about ten other companies in the social marketing space before choosing Buddy Media. He was impressed with how the company managed corporate information in the cloud, he said. “This is a perfect match for what we do every single day,” he said.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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