IBM is moving toward a takeover of Sun Microsystems, according to sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal today. The Journal says IBM is already “in talks” to acquire Sun and could reach a deal as early as this week.
IBM Sun Takeover
If an IBM-Sun takeover happens, it could come at a price of $6.5 billion, the unnamed insiders are quoted as saying. That’d be a massive premium over Sun’s $4.97-a-share closing price Tuesday evening.
IBM may not be the only company in the runnings, though: Sun is said to have informally chatted with numerous other companies about a possible purchase.
Adding credit to the idea is a separate report in The New York Times today, citing another source as saying a near-$7 billion IBM-Sun deal is on the way. The merger, The Times also points out, could face an antitrust challenge before its completion.
IBM currently has roughly double the annual research and development budget as Sun. Sun has approximately 1 million software developers writing applications on its platforms, compared to IBM’s stated 8 million. Sun also owns MySQL, an open source business for which it paid $1 billion back in 2008.
Sun has been financially unsound for some time, though. An IBM takeover would mark the largest-ever deal pulled off by International Business Machines.