Salesforce completed its $27.7 billion purchase of Slack Technologies today, thus ending Slack’s roughly two-year sojourn as a public company. No one who bought Slack at the beginning would put it down as a barn burner of an investment. Slack shares began trading in June 2019 at just above $38 and the effective sales price is around $45.50. That’s barely a 20% appreciation over a period in which the Nasdaq was up 80%.
Still, if it wasn’t for Salesforce, Slack shareholders would be much worse off! Before Salesforce came along, Slack stock was drifting around $25. Now Salesforce has taken on what is a hot potato, a company whose revenue growth has been decelerating and which faces daunting competition from the likes of Microsoft. Investors are clearly skeptical: Salesforce shares closed today just 76 cents or 0.3% above where it was the day Salesforce announced the deal last December. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, is up 18% in that same period.