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Salesforce’s $2.2 Billion Plans For France

Enterprise software conglomerate Salesforce is planning to invest more than $2.2 billion in the French market, reports in Reuters said on Tuesday (April 24).

Salesforce’s five-year plan signals strengthening ties between the company and France following the election of President Emmanuel Macron. The American Chamber of Commerce released a survey late last year that tied Macron’s election to increased optimism among U.S. investors for French expansion.

The software firm said it expects to grow rapidly in the French market by hiring new staff, acquiring more real estate and broadening its data storage capacity, reports said.

Its investment plans coincided with Macron’s U.S. visit, making the French president the first foreign leader to be hosted by U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.

“In the context of his state visit to the United States, Salesforce announced to President Macron an investment of more than $2.2 billion in the company’s French business over the next five years,” Salesforce declared in a statement on Tuesday.

Macron secured his election on the basis of promoting business growth in the country and regulatory reforms to support economic and business expansion. Last month, Macron also initiated efforts to change some European banking regulations to increase lending activity.

“We have very strict rules with the result that banks lend less and less to small and medium-sized companies,” Macron said in a statement.

Last year, Salesforce announced it would place $100 million through its investment unit Salesforce Ventures to back early-stage startups. The company launched a Salesforce Platform Fund to invest in these firms and build what it called “an ecosystem of partners” around the firm.

Several years ago, Microsoft was reportedly examining an acquisition of Salesforce that ultimately collapsed. Reports in 2015 said unnamed sources confirmed discussions for a Microsoft takeover of Salesforce fell through due to price disagreements. Microsoft reportedly offered up to $55 billion for the company, but Salesforce was said to be seeking $70 billion.

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