Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff would have bid as much as $26 billion for business networking site LinkedIn, VentureBeat reports, after parsing through a new LinkedIn securities filing.

Dubbed “Party A” in the SEC filing, it’s clear that Benioff was willing to raise San Francisco-based Salesforce (NYSE: CRM)’s bid and changed its terms if it had been given the chance to do so by LinkedIn, which eventually sold to Microsoft for $26.2 billion.

“Reflecting on the additional proposals it made after LinkedIn and Microsoft agreed to exclusivity, the email indicated that Party A would have bid much higher and made changes to the stock/cash components of its offers, but it was acting without communications from LinkedIn,” the filing says.

“The Transactions Committee also considered the contractual provisions contained in the definitive merger agreement with Microsoft, including those relating to discussions with third parties, and determined not to respond.”

News that LinkedIn(NYSE: LNKD) would be sold to Microsoft(NASDAQ: MSFT) in an $26.2 billion all-cash sale in mid-June sparked a rally in tech stocks, as other companies were named as potential acquisition targets. You can read more about that here.

LinkedIn eventually decided on Microsoft’s bid, liking its all-cash offer, which gained the approval of CEO Reid Hoffman, who controls a majority in the company. But VentureBeat reports that the Salesforce disclosure could lend fuel to some stakeholders who have threatened lawsuits in the hopes of getting a larger deal payout.

“At the same time, given some of the covenants with Microsoft, any move to re-open the bids would likely have legal and financial ramifications,” the blog says. “More interesting, perhaps, is whether this drama will place any strain on the growing partnerships between Microsoft and Salesforce.”


– By : Riley McDermid, SF BizJ Date : 26-July-2016

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