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Adobe Systems Bulks Up Marketing Software

Adobe Systems (ADBE) late Thursday announced a deal to buy marketing software company Marketo for $4.75 billion. Adobe will use Marketo to bulk up its Experience Cloud business, which provides internet cloud-based marketing software and services.


Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm than specializes in software and technology, took Marketo private two years ago for $1.8 billion.


Marketo has nearly 5,000 customers that use its integrated business-to-business marketing platform.


"Adding Marketo's engagement platform to Adobe Experience Cloud will enable Adobe to offer an unrivaled set of solutions for delivering transformative customer experiences across industries and companies of all sizes," Adobe said in a news release.


Adobe Systems expects the deal to close in its fiscal fourth quarter.


Adobe Systems Prowls For Acquisitions


Reuters reported Sept. 13 that Adobe Systems and Marketo were in talks about the acquisition. CNBC reported early Thursday afternoon that the two sides were near a deal.


Adobe has been on the hunt for acquisitions. In June, it purchased Magento Commerce for $1.68 billion. The deal added a commerce platform to Adobe's Experience Cloud business.


The Marketo acquisition will help Adobe better compete with Salesforce.com (CRM), which got into the

marketing-automation business through its $2.5 billion acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013.


"Given Marketo's market leadership serving the marketing automation needs of enterprise business-to-business organizations, consolidation of Marketo could create increased competitive dynamics in Salesforce's marketing cloud business," SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Terry Tillman said in a report to clients.


Adobe Systems stock rose 0.6% to 266.34 on the stock market today. It dipped a fraction in after-hours trading.

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