A new report claims that Microsoft was ready to pay as much as $55 billion to acquire the customer management company Salesforce.com. However, it also says that, despite serious talks between the two companies earlier this year, Microsoft's offer was not high enough for Salesforce's management team.
The report comes from CNBC, via its unnamed sources, which said that Salesforce's founder and CEO Marc Benioff was looking for an offer as high as $70 billion from Microsoft. It added:
"The deal envisioned Microsoft using a significant portion of its $95 billion cash pile to pay for Salesforce, but there was discussion of allowing Benioff to roll his 5.7 percent stake in Salesforce into Microsoft stock, while other shareholders would have gotten paid in cash. Benioff would have had a management role at Microsoft under the deal, according to people close to the talks."
The story adds that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was reportedly reluctant to approve a deal that would be this massive, which would have huge consequences for the entire company.
Benioff in the past has been highly critical of Microsoft, but has since softened his stance, especially after Nadella was announced as CEO in February 2014. In May of that year, Microsoft and Salesforce.com announced a partnership that would bring Salesforce.com's customer relationship management product to both Office and Windows. An official Salesforce1 app for Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 started an internal test in October, and it is expected to officially launch in the second half of 2015.