Sun Being Acquired by Oracle

By Alexander Goldman

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Oracle and Sun Microsystems are poised to tie the knot after Oracle this morning said it's making a $9.50 per share offer in cash for the embattled server and Java player. The total price of the deal will be approximately $7.4 billion, but since Sun brings $1.8 billion of net cash to the deal, the net cost to Oracle could be as low as $5.6 billion.

The news comes almost exactly a month after IBM reportedly made its own offer for Sun, in a deal from which Sun ultimately walked away. The Wall Journal reported that Sun officials felt that IBM's offer of $9.40 per share had been too low. On a conference call announcing the deal this morning, Oracle president Safra Catz was bullish saying that it would provide a greater per-share contribution than Oracle's acquisitions of BEA, PeopleSoft and Siebel combined.

Sun certainly brings valuable assets to the table: open source products such as MySQL, the Solaris OS, and the Java language that gives Sun its NASDAQ stock symbol, as well as its core hardware business. Oracle CEO and founder Larry Ellison said that Sun's Java and Unix environments make it a leader. "One of the reasons Oracle is so successful is that we buy companies that are No. 1," he said in a statement.

The acquisition will allow Oracle to combine enterprise hardware and software into a total solution it said. "Oracle will be the only company that can engineer an integrated system, applications to disk, where all the pieces fit and work together so customers do not have to do it themselves," Ellison said. "Our customers benefit as their systems integration costs go down, while system performance, reliability and security go up."

The deal is expected to close this summer, pending approval by regulators and by Sun's shareholders and board.

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