Salesforce.com Inc has agreed to buy workplace messaging app Slack Technologies Inc in a $27.7 billion deal, the biggest by the cloud-computing pioneer as it bets on an extended run for remote working and sharpens its rivalry with Microsoft.
The deal enables Salesforce to provide a unified platform for businesses to connect their employees, customers and partners with each other and the apps they use, bolstering its enterprise portfolio.
For Slack, the deal comes as it struggles to fully capitalize on the switch to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Slack changed workplace communications by focusing on real-time messaging that could be broken into conversations with groups assembled on the fly, a more nimble platform than email.
But the messaging style that Slack helped create has become an extremely competitive space, with larger, older competitor Microsoft Corp aggressively promoting its similar Teams product with integrated video and voice calling.
Slack shareholders will receive $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share, or $45.5 per share based on Salesforce’s closing price on Tuesday.
The offer represents a premium of 54 per cent since the first report emerged last week about the deal talks.