Several reports today say that IBM is in talks to purchase Sun Microsystems for a rumored $6.5 billion dollars.
In what would be the biggest acquisition in IBM’s history (currently the largest buyout was its acquisition of Cognos last year), the Wall Street Journal reports that the offer values Sun at close to double the company’s $4.97 share price at close yesterday. The Journal detailed (citing sources close to the matter) that the two are in talks and a deal may not come of it.
According to Bloomberg, Sun shares today jumped at the news, going from $3.27 to $8.24 at 9:31 a.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. Earlier the stock surged as much as 69 percent, representing the most since Sun’s 1986 initial public offering. IBM declined $2.94 to $89.97 on the New York Stock Exchange.
So what would a merger like this mean? Acquiring Sun would obviously help IBM enlarge its lead in the server market. That aside, as analysts pointed out to the NYT, a combination of the two would bring together two technology companies that would collectively boast $9 billion a year in research and development funds. During times when everyone else is scrimping and saving, these two are investing in the future.
While IBM would not comment on the rumors about a deal, Sun’s chairman, Scott McNealy, told the NYT in a rather cryptic email, “As always, I don’t comment on rumors, no matter how accurate or silly they may be.” Hmmm.