Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, and Slack Technologies, Inc., the most innovative enterprise communications platform, have entered into a definitive agreement under which Salesforce will acquire Slack.
Launched in 2013, Slack is a workplace communications tool used mainly by tech companies, media firms and retailers that include Amazon, IBM, etc. Its stock has risen 59% this year following the outbreak of coronavirus that introduced remote work.
However, Slack has not turned a profit since its IPO in 2019, and its CEO Stewart Butterfield believes the company faces a future of growth uncertainty as companies take measures to cut spending.
Therefore, acquisition by a software giant like Salesforce will accelerate Slack’s growth even in post-COVID-19 times.
Under the terms of the agreement, Slack shareholders will receive $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $27.7 billion based on the closing price of Salesforce’s common stock on November 30, 2020.
Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce said combining Slack with Salesforce Customer 360 will be transformative for customers and the industry. The combination will create the operating system for the new way to work, uniquely enabling companies to grow and succeed in the all-digital world.
“Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it. This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. I’m thrilled to welcome Slack to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes,” he said.
The deal will enable Salesforce to bolster its business offering. Butterfield said the move will mean a massive opportunity for the companies.
“Salesforce started the cloud revolution, and two decades later, we are still tapping into all the possibilities it offers to transform the way we work. The opportunity we see together is massive. As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility. Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can’t wait to get going,” he said.
The events of this year have greatly accelerated the move by companies and governments to an all-digital world, where work happens wherever people are—whether they’re in the office, at home or somewhere in between. They need to deliver connected experiences for their customers across every touchpoint and enable their employees to work seamlessly wherever they are.
Salesforce and Slack believe the deal will serve as consolidation to give companies a single source of truth for their business and a unified platform for connecting employees, customers and partners with each other and the apps they use every day, all within their existing workflows.
Slack to Become the New Interface for Salesforce Customer 360
Salesforce is the #1 CRM that enables companies to sell, service, market and conduct commerce, from anywhere. Slack brings people, data and tools together so teams can collaborate and get work done, from anywhere. Slack Connect extends the benefits of Slack to enable communication and collaboration between a company’s employees and all its external partners, from vendors to customers.
Slack will be deeply integrated into every Salesforce Cloud. As the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360, Slack will transform how people communicate, collaborate and take action on customer information across Salesforce as well as information from all of their other business apps and systems to be more productive, make smarter, faster decisions and create connected customer experiences.
Slack serves leading organizations in every industry around the world, from the fastest growing startups to Fortune 500 companies, such as Starbucks, Target and TD Ameritrade, along with leading academic institutions, non-profits, and governments in more than 150 countries.
As part of the world’s #1 CRM, Slack will be able to expand its presence in the enterprise, not just among Salesforce customers, but for any company undergoing digital transformation. Upon the close of the transaction, Slack will become an operating unit of Salesforce and will continue to be led by CEO Stewart Butterfield.
Connecting people and data across systems, apps and devices is one of the biggest challenges companies face in today’s all-digital world.
Slack’s open platform seamlessly integrates with more than 2,400 apps that people use to collaborate, communicate and get work done. With the largest enterprise app ecosystem, the Salesforce platform is the easiest way to build and deliver apps to connect with customers in a whole new way.
Together, Salesforce and Slack will create the most extensive open ecosystem of apps and workflows for business and empower millions of developers to build the next generation of apps, with clicks not code.
Details on the Proposed Transaction
The board of directors of each of Salesforce and Slack have approved the transaction and the Slack board recommends that Slack stockholders approve the transaction and adopt the merger agreement. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter of Salesforce’s fiscal year 2022, subject to approval by the Slack stockholders, the receipt of required regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Salesforce has also entered into a voting agreement with certain stockholders of Slack common stock, under which each such stockholder has agreed to vote all of their Slack shares in favor of the transaction at the special meeting of Slack stockholders to be held in connection with the transaction, subject to certain terms and conditions. The Slack shares subject to the agreement represent approximately 55% of the current outstanding voting power of the Slack common stock.
Salesforce expects to fund the cash portion of the transaction consideration with a combination of new debt and cash on Salesforce’s balance sheet. Salesforce has obtained a commitment from Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Bank of America, N.A. and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. for a $10.0 billion senior unsecured 364-day bridge loan facility, subject to customary conditions.