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Microsoft, Salesforce Held Serious Talks, but Split Over Price

Mystery solved.


We now know who it was who contemplated the massive acquisition of cloud software company in the last few weeks, and the answer likely won’t surprise you: Microsoft.

CNBC’s David Faber, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported a few minutes ago that Microsoft and Salesforce held “significant talks” that ended in early May. They failed to reach a deal. Microsoft was said to be mulling a bid for Salesforce in the range of $55 billion, while Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is said to have been holding out for a price closer to $70 billion. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was also said to be nervous about pulling the trigger on a deal of this size.

The talks are over and aren’t likely to restart, but they were at least serious, Faber reports.

The deal chatter emerged on April 29 with a report that someone — not identified — had made an approach to Salesforce, and goosed Salesforce shares by as much as 10 percent. Microsoft topped a short list of companies that could even think seriously about making a bid, including IBM and Oracle, with SAP in the mix and Google a possible but unlikely contender.

As Salesforce’s valuation rose, however, it became clear that a deal was unlikely anyway, if for no other reason than its sheer size.

Microsoft and Salesforce had no comment.

Here’s Faber’s report from CNBC.

This article originally appeared on

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