Contact: Brenon Daly
We were close on our earlier rumor-mongering on Coremetrics, but tapped the wrong buyer. Four months ago, we heard that the Web analytics firms was in play and had retained Goldman Sachs to represent it. (And, indeed, Goldman did advise Coremetrics in the process.) On June 15, IBM said it was picking up Coremetrics for an undisclosed amount. Originally, we thought salesforce.com made the most sense as the buyer for Coremetrics.
It’s not hard to imagine that IBM’s desire for Coremetrics increased significantly after its two most-recent acquisitions, Sterling Commerce and Cast Iron Systems. For instance, Coremetrics would give much more insight into the activities on the business-to-business network that Big Blue picked up three weeks ago when it paid $1.4bn for Sterling Commerce. Coremetrics has some 2,100 customers.
Even with this deal done, we still think Coremetrics would have been a natural fit for salesforce.com, and would have given a significant boost to the company’s effort to diversify from its legacy sales force automation (SFA) business. Sales of that product still account for two-thirds of overall company revenue.
Salesforce.com recently indicated it was willing to go shopping to increase its non-SFA business, reaching for business directory provider Jigsaw Data. At $142m in cash, the price of Jigsaw was more than salesforce.com spent, collectively, on its previous seven acquisitions. Who knows, maybe salesforce.com will turn to fellow analytics firm Webtrends, which is owned by buyout shop Francisco Partners. Incidentally, one of Francisco’s founding partners, Sandy Robertson, serves on salesforce.com’s board of directors.