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If Salesforce Sells, 'It's Probably Good for Us,' Oracle CEO Says

"We're not known to throw around money," says Safra Catz.

Oracle CEO Safra Catz declined Thursday to answer questions about the possibility that her company might be in talks to acquire

But what if Salesforce were to be acquired by Microsoft or maybe IBM? How might that change the strategic map for Oracle?

“If it’s acquired by somebody else, it’s probably good for us, to be honest,” Catz said in a rare press conference at Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood City, Calif. “Everyone brings their own stuff to these things, especially someone big enough to acquire them. … It would be interesting definitely to watch it play out and cause a lot of disruption in that market. I would think that would be helpful to us in the short to medium term.”

She went on: “It would probably depend, but disruption is always an opportunity for the guy who is on-mission.”

Oracle is one of four companies that could realistically contemplate a takeover of Salesforce. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Salesforce had hired bankers to advise it on incoming offers from an unknown suitor. Other potential buyers include Microsoft and IBM.

While Oracle could conceivably finance a deal for Salesforce, a deal so large — Salesforce’s market capitalization was $44 billion before the reports were published — would be out of character for Oracle. It usually buys smaller companies to enhance its own software offerings.

Catz said Oracle routinely looks at “hundreds of companies, frankly” for possible acquisition and is “not known to throw around money.”

“We’re always looking for deals where one and one adds up to at least two-and-a-half for us because we bring some resources to the table that the seller couldn’t possibly have,” Catz said. “But it’s got to fit our sales force. It’s got to fit our technology. Price is definitely a factor. … We’re buying things all the time, about once a month.”

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