Business software giant salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) is reportedly considering a buyout of business collaboration tools specialist Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK). The report triggered dramatic market reactions to both of these stocks, driving Slack shares as much as 32.5% higher while Salesforce shares fell as much as 5.2%.
According to a widely cited brief from The Wall Street Journal, Salesforce has been talking to Slack about a business combination in recent weeks. There is no firm proposal on the table yet, but the WSJ's anonymous insider sources say that the final price tag would exceed Slack's $17 billion market capitalization as of Wednesday morning. The talks may not result in a deal, and Salesforce could move its attention to other buyout targets, some of the sources said.
Salesforce is no stranger to large acquisitions. The company spent $1.35 billion to pick up field service specialist ClickSoftware in 2019, just days after closing the $15.3 billion buyout of data analytics expert Tableau. That being said, Slack would be the largest deal in Salesforce's history. A buyout of this magnitude should not be taken lightly, and Salesforce's investors don't seem terribly impressed by this idea. Slack's market cap grew $3.7 billion larger today, while Salesforce's market value fell by $7 billion.