IBM to Acquire Linux Distributor Red Hat for $33.4 Billion
IBM to Acquire Linux Distributor Red Hat for $33.4 Billion
IBM to Acquire Red Hat for $34 Billion
29 October, 2018, 11:18
The deal will see IBMacquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for US$190.00 per share in cash, more than US$70 above the US$116.68 at which Red Hat was trading on close of business on Friday.
Red Hat is one of the very few companies in the cloud computing sector that has both revenue growth and free cash flow, Rometty, who has been IBM's CEO since 2012, said in an interview with Reuters. It expects to become the world's leading "hybrid cloud provider" (that is, a mix of local and outside cloud services) and will treat Red Hat as a "distinct unit" inside its Hybrid Cloud group.
The transaction is by far IBM's biggest acquisition.
The Red Hat purchase will give IBM an immediate cloud revenue boost growth as well as a suite of proven software products to sell through its global sales force. The two companies called the acquisition a logical step after they've worked together for 20 years, saying IBM served as an early supporter of Linux, a key component of Red Hat's software distribution system. Red Hat's share price was 28 percent down over the past six months. IBM shares have lost nearly a third of their value in the past five years, while Red Hat shares are up 170 percent over the same period.
The announcement comes as tech giants are betting that more companies and users will pay a subscription fee to store their data elsewhere, rather than buy expensive mainframes and hard drives - which had been IBM's bread and butter.
"The biggest part of the news", Whitehurst said, "is that the company that is bringing us into their fold is committed to keeping the things that have made us Red Hat and that have made us successful over the years, always thinking about the customer and supporting the community as the innovation platform for our success".
The Red Hat deal is IBM's biggest acquisition yet for a reason: The stakes are too high and IBM has already been bumped out of the big cloud conversation by Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. Red Hat will still be helmed by Jim Whitehurst and Red Hat's current management team. This is the next chapter of the cloud. Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners were financial advisers to Red Hat, while Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom provided legal advice.
In May the two companies unveiled a collaboration agreement to target the hybrid cloud sector through technology and services integration in a move to accelerate cloud adoption. "In doing so, IBM will support open source technology wherever it runs, allowing it to scale significantly within commercial settings around the world". Jim Whitehurst also will join IBM's senior management team and report to Ginni Rometty. In particular, they said they are committed to open-source efforts as Patent Promise, GPL Cooperation Commitment, the Open Invention Network and the LOT Network. It also is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the latter half of 2019.
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