On Thursday, Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) announced that it's buying cloud-based marketing software maker Eloqua (UNKNOWN:ELOQ.DL) for $23.50 cash per share. Net of Eloqua's own cash, the deal is valued at approximately $871 million, and expected to close in the first half of 2013.

In a statement, Oracle noted that it expects the merger of these two companies to "enable organizations to provide a highly personalized and unified experience across channels, create brand loyalty through social and online interactions, grow revenue by driving more qualified leads to sales teams, and provide superior service at every touchpoint."

Shares of Oracle are down 0.4% on the news, at $33.97; shares of Eloqua are up 31%, at $23.47.

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Oracle. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.