Monday, April 20, 2009

Oracle to buy Sun

So after a couple of false starts with IBM and a lot of interest from Cisco, HP and others, Oracle has taken the plunge.

Oracle and Sun released the news this morning:

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 20, 2009 -- Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) and Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) announced today they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Oracle will acquire Sun common stock for $9.50 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun's cash and debt.

Oracle will benefit as they are a heavy Java user, and it gives them options on centralizing their platforms on either Linux or Solaris.

The future of MySQL is in the air, but it doesn't compete in the same market as most Oracle DB offerings, so it could be spared. Even if it is safe, SPARC is in danger.

Oracles' vision seems to be to offer customers a full stack of services from HW, DB, and Application, so the fact that they will now be able to produce their own HW and OS, as well as the programming language, seems to fit well. This makes is a prime competitor to IBM, who shares the same vision. (By the way, I guess the days of the Oracle / HP Database machine will be numbered as well)

Oh, if anyone is interested, here is an email to all Sun employees:

From: Jonathan I. Schwartz To:

Subject: Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement

Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 04:34:16 -0700 (07:34 EDT)

Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement

This is one of the toughest emails I've ever had to write.
It's also one of the most hopeful about Sun's future in the industry.
For 27 years, Sun has stood for courage, innovation, a willingness to blaze trails, to envision and engineer the future. No matter our ups and downs, we've remained committed to those ideals, and to the R&D that's allowed us to differentiate. We've committed to decade long pursuits, from the evolution of one of the world's most powerful datacenter operating systems, to one of the world's most advanced multi-core microelectronics. We've never walked away from the wholesale reinvention of business models, the redefinition of technology boundaries or the pursuit of new routes to market.
Because of the unparalleled talent at Sun, we've also fueled entire industries with our people and technologies, and fostered extraordinary companies and market successes. Our products and services have driven the discovery of new drugs, transformed social media, and created a better understanding of the world and marketplace around us. All, while we've undergone a near constant transformation in the face of a rapidly changing marketplace and global economy. We've never walked away from a challenge - or an opportunity.
So today we take another step forward in our journey, but along a different path - by announcing that this weekend, our board of directors and I approved the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by the Oracle Corporation for $9.50/share in cash. All members of the board present at the meeting to review the transaction voted for it with enthusiasm, and the transaction stands to utterly transform the marketplace - bringing together two companies with a long history of working together to create a newly unified vision of the future.
Oracle's interest in Sun is very clear - they aspire to help customers simplify the development, deployment and operation of high value business systems, from applications all the way to datacenters. By acquiring Sun, Oracle will be well positioned to help customers solve the most complex technology problems related to running a business.
To me, this proposed acquisition totally redefines the industry, resetting the competitive landscape by creating a company with great reach, expertise and innovation. A combined Oracle/Sun will be capable of cultivating one of the world's most vibrant and far reaching developer communities, accelerating the convergence of storage, networking and computing, and delivering one of the world's most powerful and complete portfolios of business and technical software.
I do not consider the announcement to be the end of the road, not by any stretch of the imagination. I believe this is the first step down a different path, one that takes us and our innovations to an even broader market, one that ensures the ubiquitous role we play in the world around us. The deal was announced today, and, after regulatory review and shareholder approval, will take some months to close - until that close occurs, however, we are a separate company, operating independently. No matter how long it takes, the world changed starting today.
But it's important to note it's not the acquisition that's changing the world - it's the people that fuel both companies. Having spent a considerable amount of time talking to Oracle, let me assure you they are single minded in their focus on the one asset that doesn't appear in our financial statements: our people. That's their highest priority - creating an inviting and compelling environment in which our brightest minds can continue to invent and deliver the future.
Thank you for everything you've done over the years, and for everything you will do in the future to carry the business forward. I'm incredibly proud of this company and what we've accomplished together.
Details will be forthcoming as we work together on the integration planning process.


UPDATE: The Economist has some excellent analysis on the merger.


  1. What we have here on one hand is Oracle, a company that is incredibly well run, but with products that don't cover a complete spectrum, and Sun, a so-so run company with a wide range of product lines. This can go two ways, Suns platform quality goes down while Oracles management goes down with it, *or*, and this is the scenario I hope for, Oracle cleans out the dead wood in Sun management, and adopts the Sun technology in force. I've worked on Oracle machines, and Sun machines. I've also delt with both companies sales forces. If the synergy can be hammered out, this can really shake up the business world.

    One suggestion tho, keep both names. Use Sun for the hardware, Oracle for the software

  2. This was an intellectual property firesale. IBM = idiots. Congratulations to anyone who realized Sun stock was ridiculously undervalued; you deserve the profit you made by buying low.

  3. Congratulations for acquiring the sun at low value.minor