(Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. agreed to buy Eloqua Inc. for about $871 million to further expand into cloud computing amid competition from SAP AG and Salesforce.com Inc.

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

Oracle Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison has been using acquisitions -- spending $3.3 billion on RightNow Technologies Inc. and Taleo Corp. this year -- to add cloud-computing software that customers can access online instead of storing it on their servers. It helped bolster profit margins as companies from Workday Inc. to Microsoft Corp. offer rival products.

Eloqua, based in Vienna, Virginia, brings products that help companies tailor and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, ranging in price from $2,000 a month for 4-10 users to $6,400 a month for 250 users.

Web-based software lets companies save money by using programs via the cloud instead of storing them on their own servers. The $871 million price is net of Eloqua’s cash.

Oracle, based in Redwood City, California, rose 0.3 percent to $34.19 at 9:53 a.m. in New York. Eloqua jumped 31 percent to $23.54.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half.

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