Company News

Google parent Alphabet shelves efforts to acquire HubSpot

Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, US, on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. Alphabet Inc. is expected to release earnings figures on February 2. Photographer: Marlena Sloss/Bloomberg (Marlena Sloss/Bloomberg)

(Bloomberg) -- Google parent Alphabet Inc. has shelved efforts to acquire HubSpot Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter, putting to bed the prospect of a takeover that would have ranked among the biggest of the year.

Shares of HubSpot, a customer relationship management company, fell as much as 19% Wednesday in New York trading, the most since 2020 to give the company a market value of about US$25 billion.

Alphabet had communicated its interest in a potential deal with HubSpot earlier this year, but the sides didn’t reach a point of detailed discussions around due diligence, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential matters.

A representative for Alphabet didn’t have an immediate comment. A HubSpot spokesperson declined to comment.

Any deal for HubSpot would have been one of the biggest this year for a tech company, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, putting it in the same league as the pending $34 billion acquisition of Ansys Inc. by Synopsys Inc.

Buying Cambridge, Massachusetts-based HubSpot, which focuses on small to midsize enterprises, would have helped Alphabet compete with other players in that market such as Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and Salesforce Inc.

A transaction also would have likely gotten bogged down in reviews by U.S. antitrust regulators. Under the Biden Administration, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have been aggressively signaling their opposition to big-ticket M&A, forcing sizable tech companies to rethink their plans to grow through acquisitions.

HubSpot shares peaked in April at about $682 apiece. Since then, the stock had fallen 21% before Wednesday. Shares in Alphabet have risen about 37% this year.

--With assistance from Brody Ford, Katie Roof and Davey Alba.

(Updates with HubSpot share drop in second paragraph.)

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