Arik Hesseldahl

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Oracle To Pay $871 Million for Marketing Software Company Eloqua

acquisitions_sharkSoftware giant Oracle just announced that it will pay $23.50 a share to acquire Eloqua, a Virginia-based provider of marketing software. The deal is valued at $871 million net of Eloqua’s cash, and is Oracle’s 10th acquisition of 2012, and its second deal this month.

Eloqua’s specialty appears to be taking a lot of guesswork out of the heavy lifting of marketing, and also using software smarts to turn marketing contacts into sales leads.

The company debuted in an IPO on the Nasdaq in August, and raised $92 million priced at about $12 a share. Its shares closed yesterday at $17.92, so Oracle is paying about a 41 percent premium. Oracle shares are falling slight in pre-market trading.

Here’s Oracle’s announcement:

Oracle Buys Eloqua

Adds Leading Modern Marketing Platform to the Oracle Cloud to Help Companies Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., December 20, 2012 — Oracle today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Eloqua, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELOQ), a leading provider of cloud-based marketing automation and revenue performance management software for $23.50 per share or approximately $871 million, net of Eloqua’s cash. Eloqua’s modern marketing cloud delivers best-in-class capabilities to ensure every component of marketing works harder and more efficiently to drive revenue.

The combination of Oracle and Eloqua is expected to create a comprehensive Customer Experience Cloud offering to help companies transform the way they market, sell, support and serve their customers. The combined offering is expected to enable organizations to provide a highly personalized and unified experience across channels, create brand loyalty through social and online interactions, grow revenue by driving more qualified leads to sales teams, and provide superior service at every touchpoint.

The Board of Directors of Eloqua has unanimously approved the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013, subject to Eloqua stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“Modern marketing practices are driving revenue growth and is a critical area of investment for companies today,” said Thomas Kurian, Executive Vice President, Oracle Development. “Eloqua’s leading marketing automation cloud will become the centerpiece of the Oracle Marketing Cloud and is an important addition to the Oracle Customer Experience offering, which includes the Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle Content Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud.”

“Exceptional customer experience starts with knowing your customer’s preferences and delivering a highly personalized buying experience,” said Joe Payne, Chairman and CEO, Eloqua. “Together with Oracle, we expect to accelerate the pace of the modern marketing revolution and help our customers transform the way they market, sell, support and serve their customers.”

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

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