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9/27/2010
08:49 AM
Bob Evans
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IBM's Acquisition List: Four Potential Candidates

Noting that IBM has snapped up four Massachusetts companies in the past three months, the Boston Globe speculates on the identities of the next four takeover candidates. After all, an IBM exec says in the article that his company is always on the hunt.

Noting that IBM has snapped up four Massachusetts companies in the past three months, the Boston Globe speculates on the identities of the next four takeover candidates. After all, an IBM exec says in the article that his company is always on the hunt.From the Globe article:

"We are an acquisition-friendly company," said Mike Loria, IBM's vice president of business development. "We are constantly looking."

Although IBM searches the entire world for new acquisitions, Massachusetts is a prime hunting ground, thanks to its excellent universities and array of small but sophisticated tech companies. "There's a lot of incubation that takes place in Massachusetts," said Loria, who's based in Westford at IBM's new Mass Lab, the company's largest software operation in North America.

Loria is a veteran of Rational Software, a maker of software development tools that IBM acquired in 2003 for $2.1 billion. It was the first major Massachusetts acquisition overseen by Sam Palmisano, IBM's then-new chief executive, who vowed to expand the company through multiple acquisitions.

Over the summer, IBM's Massachusetts acquisitions have included Unica Corp. for $480 million and a proposed takeover of Netezza for $1.7 billion. The Netezza deal hasn't closed yet and since the company's in the hot area of optimized systems for data analytics and warehousing, it's possible that another suitor might jump in with a higher bid, as we saw recently with the battle between Hewlett-Packard and Dell for 3Par.

In the case of Netezza, I think Oracle might jump in with a counteroffer to IBM's because of Oracle's established interest in Netezza's area of specialty and also because of the intensifying competition between IBM and Oracle. I go into some detail on that in Global CIO: Will Larry Ellison Launch Bidding War With IBM For Netezza?.

Looking ahead, the article names these four regional tech firms as potential takeover candidates for IBM: Endeca, Progress Software, Marathon, and Sanbolic.

Asked by the Globe for a hint on which company might be next, IBM's Loria gave a great response: "The answer to that question would buy me a long time off from work."

RECOMMENDED READING:

Global CIO: Oracle's Success Breeds Fear And Loathing At The New York Times

Global CIO: IBM Doubles Down On Red-Hot Optimized Systems

Global CIO: Will Larry Ellison Launch Bidding War With IBM For Netezza?

Global CIO: The CEO Of The Year Is SAP's Bill McDermott

Global CIO: IBM Top Product Exec Discusses Strategy, Systems, And Oracle

Global CIO: Larry Ellison And The New Oracle Rock The Tech World

Global CIO: IBM's Blazing New Mainframe Wins Raves From Citigroup

Global CIO: Oracle's New Fusion Apps: An Inside Look

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