by Dennis Yang
Wed, Jan 16th 2008 9:52am
Something must be in the air today, as two big acquisitions were announced this morning. First, Oracle announced that it will fork over $8.5 billion for middleware maker, BEA. BEA has been on the radar since last October, when BEA rejected Oracle's unsolicited $6.7 billion offer. Carl Icahn, BEA's largest shareholder, had initially agreed with BEA's counter offer of $21 per share, but then later started pushing publicly for the sale. Oracle held fast to its offer of $17 per share, so it's surprising to see that they were able to agree on $19.375 per share, especially when there were seemingly no other bidders. These acquisitions continue an overall trend of consolidation in the enterprise software market, kicked off by Oracle's 2004 acquisition of PeopleSoft. Since then, Oracle has spent about $110 billion in its acquisition of about 30 companies. Oracle is in a battle with German software giant, SAP, who is also knee deep in the land grab with its recently successful $6.7 billion acquisition for Business Objects. Meanwhile, Sun will spend $1 billion for open source database maker, MySql, making a strong play in the $15 billion enterprise database market. This deal makes sense for Sun, who has been building up its stable of open source products. That said, when will the speculation begin for an Oracle-Sun merger? Both hate Microsoft deeply, and both have been trying to expand beyond their core markets. And, MySql even rejected Oracle's acquisition offer back in 2006. At some point, someone's going to think it makes sense for the two to combine.
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