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Salesforce abandons pursuit of Informatica, source says

FILE PHOTO: A banner celebrating the Informatica IPO on the front of the NYSE in New York

By Anirban Sen

(Reuters) -Business software maker Salesforce has backed away from its talks to acquire data-management software firm Informatica after the two companies could not agree on terms, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

The talks between the two companies were at an advanced stage earlier in April, Reuters reported. If the two sides had agreed on a deal, it would've ranked as one of Salesforce's biggest acquisitions.

Salesforce and Informatica did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

Salesforce had been discussing a price for Informatica in the mid-$30s a share, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported earlier on Sunday that the talks between the two sides had fizzled. When news of the deal talks first broke on April 12, Informatica's shares were trading at $38.48.

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Informatica's shares closed at $35.19 on Friday, valuing the Redwood City, California-based company at about $11.2 billion, including debt.

Founded in 1993, Informatica offers subscription-based data management services over the cloud and helps automate tasks for more than 5,000 active customers. Informatica's customers include Unilever and Deloitte, according to the company's website.

Salesforce's dealmaking strategy came under scrutiny in early 2023, when activist investors, including ValueAct Capital and Elliott Management, questioned the company's strategy and pushed the management for changes.

In response, Salesforce implemented cost-cutting and increased share buybacks. It also disbanded its mergers and acquisitions board committee.

Throughout its history, Salesforce has been a prolific acquirer of smaller rivals. In 2019, it bought data analytics platform Tableau Software in an all-stock deal valued at $15.7 billion. A year later, Salesforce agreed to buy workplace messaging app Slack Technologies for nearly $28 billion, its biggest acquisition.

(Reporting by Shubhendu Deshmukh and Anirban Sen; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger)