Oracle Buys Sun For $7.4 Billion

Could prove the biggest technology deal this year.

It’s the takeover deal of 2009 so far and with the R-word still biting may well prove the biggest tech acquisition of 2009: Oracle has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Sun Microsystems in a cash deal valued at $7.4bn.

The figure rates Sun stock at roughly $9.50 per share, a near 50 per cent price premium on its Friday trading value. The entire package comes out at $5.6bn when taking Sun’s cash and debt into account.

“The acquisition of Sun transforms the IT industry, combining best-in-class enterprise software and mission-critical computing systems,” said famously outspoken Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in a statement. “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. Our customers benefit as their systems integration costs go down while system performance, reliability and security go up.”

“Oracle and Sun have been industry pioneers and close partners for more than 20 years,” said equally famed rent-a-quote Sun Chairman Scott McNealy. “This combination is a natural evolution of our relationship and will be an industry-defining event.”

No timeframe has been placed on completion of the deal though a summer conclusion seems likely. There is also no word on how it will affect workers between the two companies. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz did however describe the purchase as “a fantastic day for Sun’s customers, developers, partners and employees across the globe” so we’ll see.

Ultimately, the purchase comes as something of a shock as IBM had long been the front runner and was close to agreeing a deal valuing Sun shares at $10 each. It reconsidered however and changed the offer to $9.40 a share and that has proved a costly mistake. Dell is also thought to be less than pleased to miss out.

So now Oracle has the software ”and” the hardware. Larry Ellison is going to be even more quotable than before!

Press Release

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