Software developer Adobe has acquired marketing automation software company Marketo.

The transaction, which is expected to close during 2018’s fourth quarter, comes with a reported $4.75 billion price tag, and is reportedly the largest acquisition in the San Jose-based software giant’s history.

Marketo CEO Steve Lucas will join Adobe's senior leadership team and will report to Adobe executive VP Brad Rencher.


San Mateo, CA-based Marketo was founded in 2006. The cloud-based B2B marketing platform, which staffs more than 1,000 employees across a dozen offices worldwide, was acquired by billionaire Robert Smith’s private equity firm, Vista Equity Partners, two years ago for $1.8 billion. Forbes reported that Adobe’s recent purchase accounted for the largest single-company profit in the equity firm’s 18-year history.

The acquisition, which wins Adobe all of Marketo’s 5,000 customers, bolsters the software developer B2B marketing services toolkit, now effectively positioning the company in direct competition with customer relationship management platform giant Salesforce.

In a conference call, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said he believes “the combination of Adobe Experience Cloud’s analytics, personalization and content solutions with Marketo’s lead management, account-based marketing and attribution technology will make us the leading platform for all marketers.”

The Marketo deal, which remains subject to regulatory approval as well as customary closing conditions, arrives on the heels of Adobe’s $1.7 billion June acquisition of e-commerce platform Magento.

Adobe staffs more than 15,000 employees worldwide.