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Vista Equity Partners buys Marketo for $1.8B in cash

TechCrunch TechCrunch 31/05/2016 Ingrid Lunden

Marketo, the marketing software giant that went public in 2013, is being taken private again: PE firm Vista Equity Partners has acquired the company for $1.79 billion in an all-cash deal. The news ends weeks of speculation in which people guessed that Marketo would be snapped up by strategics like Microsoft (who is a big partner of Marketo) or SAP.

In the end, it’s a PE firm, thereby meaning that neither of these two enterprise IT giants will be making a more definitive move into the marketing sphere to compete against Adobe, Oracle and others.

The announcement of the purchase notes that Marketo shareholders will receive $35.25 in cash per share, representing a 64% premium to the unaffected closing price as of May 9, 2016.

“After careful consideration and deliberation, our Board of Directors unanimously concluded that the sale of Marketo to Vista Equity Partners was in the best interest of Marketo and its shareholders,” said Phil Fernandez, chairman and CEO of Marketo, in a statement. “The acquisition will allow Marketo to continue to focus on customer success and to remain the independent category leader, continuing to set the agenda for product innovation and thought leadership for the entire digital marketing industry. It will also enable us to successfully deliver on the bold vision we recently set forth – to give tomorrow’s marketers and the C-suite an ultra-high-scale enterprise platform for customer engagement.”

Vista has acquired dozens of companies, including those in the marketing space, such as event management company Cvent, which it acquired for $1.65 billion in April of this year. “Marketo is the clear leader in the marketing automation space and has consistently delivered innovative mission critical products to its more than 4,600 customers,” said Brian Sheth, co-founder and president of Vista. “Given our proven track record and focus on investing in high-growth SaaS platforms, we are thrilled to partner with Phil and the broader Marketo team to help the company accelerate innovation, growth, and excellence.”

Marketo, based out of San Mateo, says the deal should close in Q3 2016.

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