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Adobe is buying Marketo, a maker of targeted marketing tools, for $4.75 billion

Adobe is buying Marketo, a maker of targeted marketing tools, for $4.75 billion
Adobe, the maker of image-editing tool Photoshop, has sought to develop a software suite that includes advertising, analytics and e-commerce programs. (Alan Diaz / Associated Press)

Adobe Systems Inc. agreed to acquire software maker Marketo Inc. for $4.75 billion, bolstering its marketing tools in a bid to compete against Salesforce.com Inc. and Oracle Corp. in a fast-growing business.

The deal, which would be Adobe’s largest acquisition ever, is expected to close during the fourth quarter of Adobe’s fiscal 2018, the San Jose company said Thursday. Adobe’s fiscal year ends Nov. 30.

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Adobe, the maker of image-editing tool Photoshop, has sought to develop a software suite that includes advertising, analytics and e-commerce programs. Marketo, owned by Vista Equity Partners, provides one of the last pieces of that puzzle. Adobe purchased Magento Commerce for $1.7 billion in June to enter the market for e-commerce.

Vista bought Marketo in 2016 for $1.8 billion. The San Mateo, Calif., company sells marketing software that companies use to identify and reach new customers through email, text messages, social media and other channels, according to its website. It also offers analytical services. Marketo Chief Executive Steve Lucas will join Adobe’s senior leadership, the companies said.

The deal was announced after markets closed. Adobe’s shares were little changed in extended trading after closing up $1.46, or 0.6%, to $266.34. The stock has jumped 52% this year.

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