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Article from SFGate.

Oracle has agreed to buy Eloqua Inc. for about $871 million, further expanding in cloud computing and ratcheting up competition with Salesforce.com and SAP.

The $23.50-per-share offer is more than twice Eloqua’s initial public offering price in August, and 31 percent higher than its closing price Wednesday. The board of Eloqua, whose Web-based tools are used in marketing and revenue-performance management, approved the deal, according to a statement.

Oracle’s $871 million offer, which is net of Eloqua’s cash, is more than nine times the target company’s sales over the last 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In two previous large cloud-computing deals this year, Redwood City-based Oracle paid 6.3 times sales for HR tools maker Taleo Corp. in April, and 7.1 times the revenue of customer support software maker RightNow Technologies Inc., which it acquired in January.

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