Mergers and Acquisitions in the technology industry

M&A News in Technology

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"Larry Ellison is borderline bat-shit crazy on a good day," the analyst Rob Enderle is quoted as saying in a piece last week by Sam Gustin - a senior writer at DailyFinance, an AOL Finance & Money site. Enderle was prompted to utter this remark by speculation that perhaps the Oracle CEO is about to embark upon the acquisition of his life: of HP. "I think his bet is that he can damage HP enough that it drops in value and he can wander in with an offer," Enderle is quoted as having added. So is it possible that Ellison the Conqueror, CEO of Oracle Corporation since he founded the company in 1977, truly has the $90BN HP in the crosshairs of his acquisition rifle-sight? Can a $120BN company somehow buy and absorb a $90BN one? Well certainly he now has on board the exact right man to tackle the integration of such a purchase: none other than HP's own former CEO, Mark Hurd. A... (more)

Cisco To Buy Skype?

As Dell and HP slug it out to capture 3PAR, Cisco may be adopting a quieter acquisition style and attempting - according to TechCrunch anyway - to acquire Skype. Citing someone he refers to only as "one of our more reliable sources," the Silicon Valley-based site's senior editor Michael Arrington claims Cisco has already made an offer before Skype has time to complete its recently announced IPO. It is five years now since eBay famously acquired Skype for $1.9 billion. Such an acquisition by Cisco, if it were confirmed, would mark a new scale for the current round of M&A activity, which has seen Intel acquiring McAfee, HP acquiring Palm and 3Com, EMC acquiring Data Domain, and so on. Not to mention Oracle's acquisition of Sun, or Dell's of Perot Systems. Speculation is rife that Google and Microsoft are both now in search of a major quarry. And certainly IBM is hoovering u... (more)

New Owner of Novell Might Be Cloud Expo Sponsor VMware

Who is buying Novell? The Wall Street Journal is reporting that VMware is in talks to acquire Novell's Linux software unit. Novell, adds the Journal, is in "advanced talks with at least two buyers." VMware's primary interest would be in purchasing Novell's SUSE Linux operating system business, experts agree. What experts don't agree on is whether or not SUSE Linux would be in the best hands, were VMware to be its new custodian. Self-declared "Cyber Cynic" Steve Vaughan-Nichols, for example, notes the irony that the CEO of VMware is none other than an ex-Microsoftie, Paul Maritz (pictured). So is the fox about to be put in charge of the hen-house? Gartner VP Chris Wolf says "I think acquiring a mainstream Linux distro makes sense for VMware" and notes: "If VMware acquires Novell SUSE Linux, it will have a vertical offering much like Microsoft, Oracle, and Red Hat. Lar... (more)

Software AG Acquires Terracotta

"Both Terracotta and Software AG are committed to further investment in our technologies and preserving the vibrant open source communities of Ehcache and Quartz," said Amit Pandey, CEO of Terracotta, as it was announced today in San Francisco, USA & Darmstadt, Germany, that Software AG has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Terracotta Inc. "The combination of Software AG and Terracotta will provide enormous value to customers of both companies through a comprehensive software stack that supports the level of performance and scale required in private and public cloud infrastructures," added Pandey. The acquisition, explained Software AG in an announcement, will allow it to provide innovative cloud solutions and dramatically increase the performance and scalability of its Business Process Excellence platform. The announcement continued: "Terracotta’s pro... (more)

Cloud Computing: Rackspace Acquires Anso Labs

"This acquisition marks a significant step forward in our investment in the success of OpenStack," wrote OpenStack's GM Jim Curry Wednesday as he confirmed that Rackspace has acquired Anso Labs, best known for its work with NASA to help build their Nebula cloud platform, the code behind which NASA contributed to the open source community as the basis for OpenStack Compute last summer. "We believe OpenStack is the right cloud operating system for the industry, and we are committed to the continued evolution of this open platform and to powering our own cloud with OpenStack for many years to come," Curry added. Since Anso Labs is a participant in the OpenStack project and has already contributed substantially to its success, it further underlines how strongly Rackspace believes the world needs a truly open cloud platform and is committed to helping build it. Curry wa... (more)

IBM Buys Unica

IBM is buying Unica Corporation for ~$480 million for its advertising and marketing software. It's paying better than double what the stock was selling for. The deal should close before the end of the year. Unica is supposed to automatically predict customer preferences around which ad campaigns are built and measured. Unica, which has maybe 1,500 customers, and its 500 people will become part of Blue's analytics unit. IBM means to use it especially in developing countries. ... (more)

Oracle Mergers & Acquisitions: Who’s Next?

Beginning in late 2004 with its acquisition of PeopleSoft, Oracle initiated an acquisition campaign that has brought over forty companies into the Oracle fold. During that time, Oracle has made five multi-billion dollar acquisitions – about one per year – all of which have made for big news in the ERP software market. But which company will be next? I would argue that there is a logical way to analyze Oracle’s recent decisions and define a set of strategies that have not only guided past acquisitions but may also tell us where Oracle is headed. Below is a chart that displays the size of each acquisition Oracle has made in the past five years as well as the layer of the technology stack into which that acquisition would be placed. Based on this data, I would argue that the motivations behind Oracle’s major acquisitions are: Grow market share leadership in key enter... (more)

Cloud Computing: Time Warner Cable Acquires NaviSite

"We look forward to powering Time Warner Cable’s development of innovative managed and cloud services for its commercial customers," said R. Brooks Borcherding, President and CEO of NaviSite, as it was announced that Cloud Expo 2010  Sponsor & Exhibitor NaviSite had been acquired by Time Warner Cable for $230 million. "Our valued customers can rest assured knowing that NaviSite and Time Warner Cable are committed to helping them grow their businesses and to delivering the reliability, innovation, and customer service they have come to expect," Borcherding continued, adding: "On behalf of all the employees of NaviSite, we are delighted to join the Time Warner Cable family," The NaviSite booth was a prominent feature at Cloud Expo 2010 New York It is only last week that another major network operator, Verizon, agreed to acquire Terremark for $1.4 billion. Navisite Talk... (more)

HP & IBM Vie over Next Billion-Dollar Acquisition: Radware

IBM and HP are competing for the hand of Israeli-based smart networking developer Radware whose acquisition will go down for close to a billion dollars according to Globes, the Israeli business paper whose inevitably unnamed and chatty sources are usually on the money. Both IBM and HP are partners of the 14-year-old public company. Globes expects Radware to get knocked down for $45 a share working out to a total of $945 million, a 60% premium. Oddly enough IBM CEO Sam Palmisano Tuesday publicly scoffed at the premiums HP has been paying lately for 3PAR and now ArcSight claiming that it’s only because its internal innovation impulses have been starved by its penny-pinching ousted CEO whereas IBM’s own R&D budget is fat and sassy. Globes quotes Oppenheimer as speculating the other day that Radware could get bought for its IP when it raised its price target to 30 bucks. ... (more)

IBM Buys Netezza

IBM said Monday morning that it's buying Netezza, the data warehouse appliance company that competes with Oracle's vaunted Exadata widgetry, for roughly $1.78 billion net of Netezza's bank book. IBM timed the announcement to coincide with Oracle's OpenWorld festivities which are just getting off the ground. It said it would pay $27 a share cash, close to a 10% premium, modest compared to the recent HP-3PAR deal. Wall Street evidently thinks IBM's bid may be challenged like Dell's was for 3PAR because the punters, probably thinking of Oracle, immediately bid Netezza's stock up over $27 on the news. IBM, on the other hand, expects the acquisition to close in Q4. Oracle has been lording Exadata over IBM in ads on the front page of the Wall Street Journal claiming "Sun runs Oracle twice as fast as IBM's fastest computer" and putting up $10 million for anyone - including I... (more)

Intel Acquires Leading Client Virtualization Vendor Neocleus - Or Does It?

Intel has reportedly acquired the market leader in client virtualization, Neocleus. Known for its NeoSphere product. Neocleus is well known for its implementation of industry-leading virtualization technologies, coupled with centralized control and management that integrate with existing PC lifecycle management tools. NeoSphere has long offered organizations a way to address their client computing demands. At this writing however a question-mark hangs over the acquisition. The blog entry in which it was announced has disappeared from the Web! Here is what is returned today, Friday September 3 when anyone currently hits the URL of this blog posting at The Neocleus Blog: Yet Thursday September 2 the entry was available to all via Google News: As can be seen from the above Google search, the original blog post was apparently authored by Neocleus's VP of Product Management, ... (more)