Salesforce boss says US$27.7bn Slack deal is a “match made in heaven”

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Salesforce.com Inc (NYSE:CRM) has struck a US$27.7bn deal to acquire Slack Technologies Inc (NYSE:WORK) in a cash plus stock transaction.

Investors are set to receive US$26.79 in cash and 0.0776 Salesforce shares for each Slack share they own. The takeover remains conditional on approval by Slack shareholders, albeit holders representing 55% of the company have already backed the deal.

It sees Salesforce grab a ‘sticky’ team-based communications platform which, much like Zoom, has come into its own amidst the ‘new normal’ of widespread remote working.

According to Salesforce, the deal will be “transformative for customers and the industry”.

Salesforce said the deal creates “the operating system for the new way to work, uniquely enabling companies to grow and succeed in the all-digital world.”

“This is a match made in heaven,” said Marc Benioff, Salesforce chief executive in a statement.

“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.”

Stewart Butterfield, Slack chief executive and co-founder, added: “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.”

For the uninitiated, Slack is essentially a digital workspace within which organisations, teams and other combinations of co-workers can share documents and communicate (via instant messaging, voice and video calling).

As a cloud-based solution that had meaningful market penetration pre-COVID-19 the platform saw mass adoption during the pandemic.

Third-quarter results yesterday, for example, showed a 35% increase in paying customers.

At the same time, and probably significant in the context of the Salesforce business, the Slack Connect product – an add-on that allows separate organisations to communicate securely within Slack – increased overall paid customer numbers and ‘connected endpoints’ rose by 240% year-on-year.

Salesforce has already detailed that Slack will be “deeply integrated into every Salesforce cloud” and that the Slack platform will become the new interface of ‘Salesforce Customer 360’.

It expects that Slack will “transform how people communicate, collaborate and take action on customer information across Salesforce”.

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