Skip to main content
//empty //empty

Oracle Corp., which came late to cloud computing, is trying to be a one-stop shop for operating systems, databases, computer programs and infrastructure over the Web.

Stephen Lam/Reuters

Oracle Corp. agreed to buy Eloqua Inc., a maker of web-based marketing automation software that listed in August, for about $810-million (U.S.) as it seeks to expand its cloud-computing services.

Eloqua makes software to help businesses predict and grow revenue by monitoring marketing and sales initiatives. Its customers include AON PLC, Dow Jones & Co. Inc., Automatic Data Processing Inc., Polycom Systems Ltd. and National Instruments Corp.

Oracle, which came late to cloud computing, is trying to be a one-stop shop for operating systems, databases, computer programs and infrastructure over the Web.

Story continues below advertisement

"The acquisition of Eloqua will add a leading market automation solution to Oracle's strong sales force automation products and the recently acquired RightNow call centre automation solution," Nomura Equity Research analysts said in a research note.

Oracle bought RightNow Technologies last year for $1.5-billion, sparking several more acquisitions in the cloud-computing market including IBM Inc.'s acquisition of Kenexa and SAP AG's purchase of SuccessFactors.

Oracle, which has traditionally offered installed software products, then bought Taleo, a cloud-based HR software firm.

"We would expect Oracle to continue to make acquisitions in this space, to bolster its Fusion Applications suite and respond to competitive pressure in the applications market from SAP and Salesforce.co," Nomura said.

Oracle priced the deal at $871-million, net of Eloqua's cash. Based on the 34.5 million Eloqua shares outstanding as of Oct. 31, the equity portion of the deal came to $810-million.

Cloud computing, a broad term referring to the delivery of services via the Internet from remote data centres, is a favourite with corporate technology buyers because it is faster to implement and has lower upfront costs than traditional software.

Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison mocked cloud computing in 2008 as "complete gibberish." He described it as a fad, comparing the computer industry to the fashion world.

Story continues below advertisement

But Oracle has since introduced its own web products and acquired several firms selling Internet-based software as its corporate customers embraced web services offered by Salesforce.com Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Google Inc.

"Although Oracle already had strong marketing functionality, this gives it a cloud offering to deliver and an additional base of mid-market customers providing a recurring licensc maintenance stream," Nucleus Research analyst Rebecca Wettemann said.

The company's $23.50 per share offer for Eloqua represents a 31-per-cent premium to Eloqua's Nasdaq close on Wednesday.

Eloqua shares jumped to match the offer price while Oracle's shares were flat at $34.05 on the Nasdaq.

"Eloqua's leading marketing automation cloud will become the centrepiece of the Oracle Marketing Cloud," said Thomas Kurian, executive vice-president of Oracle Development.

Eloqua's board has unanimously approved the deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

Story continues below advertisement

Oracle said on Tuesday that software sales growth will stay strong into the new year despite fears that there could be big tax hikes and U.S. government spending cuts that could cause a slump in spending by customers.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies