Salesforce's hacked & leaked acquisition target list included Qlik, Veeva Systems (Update: Tableau explored sale)

Tom Paine

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This is a screenshot of a chart in an email sent by Salesforce in May to board member Colin Powell, which was leaked in September by DCLeaks and published yesterday by the Wall Street Journal. It contained a list of 14 possible Salesforce acquisition targets.

A statement sent by Salesforce to Business Insider read: "Salesforce has a disciplined and thoughtful M&A process where we routinely survey the industry landscape across a wide range of companies, but acquire very few. The presentation is a broad survey of publicly traded companies in May 2016, and the appearance of company names on the list doesn't imply Salesforce ever intended to acquire them."

Radnor-based Qlik Technologies, and Veeva Systems, the life sciences cloud vendor which has considerable operations and many customers in the Philadelphia region, are both on the list.

I had wondered whether whether Qlik might provide the structured analytics engine that Salesforce's Analytics Cloud was largely lacking. Qlik competitor Tableau was also on the list. Reuters reported on Wednesday that Tableau actively explored a sale earlier this year. Qlik, though, was taken private by Thoma Bravo in a $3 billion buyout that closed in August.

Veeva built its original product, Veeva CRM, on top of Salesforce's CRM, and Salesforce has often used Veeva as a primary reference point for Salesforce's potential in vertical markets. However, Veeva's fastest growing product, Vault, is based on Veeva's own proprietary technology and it is gradually becoming less dependent on Salesforce.

Veeva (NYSE: VEEV), which has a market capitalization of $5.4 billion, finished up slightly on Wednesday.

Veeva commented today, saying it remains focused on building its business and can't comment on other's plans.

"While we don't comment on other's plans, we can tell you we remain focused on building the industry cloud for life sciences and creating a multi-billion dollar company over the long-term," said a company spokesperson.

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