Timeline of the Sun Sale

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-05-12 Print this article Print

What follows is a timeline review of the events and decisions that resulted in the April 20 announcement that Sun would end its 27-year tenure as an independent IT hardware, software and services provider and be acquired by Oracle, one of the world's largest enterprise software providers.

Nov. 6, 2008: The CEO of "Party A," Sam Palmisano of IBM, approaches Sun President and CEO Jonathan Schwartz and suggests a possible business combination transaction. The words "acquisition" and "merger" were not used in this part of the document.

Dec. 19, 2008: Sun and IBM enter into a confidentiality agreement, after which IBM begins its due-diligence investigation of the company.

Jan. 28, 2009: IBM delivers a preliminary proposal to Sun, proposing to acquire the company at a price of $8.40 per share to $8.70 per share in cash. This represents about an 80 percent premium on the current selling price of Sun stock.

Jan. 29: Sun hires Credit Suisse to be its financial adviser for a possible acquisition or merger with IBM.

Feb. 12: Schwartz, at the direction of the Sun board, speaks with the CEO of "Party B"-which eWEEK is told was HP-about a possible strategic transaction.

Feb. 18: Sun enters into a confidentiality agreement with HP, at which point HP begins its own due diligence investigation.

Feb. 20: IBM delivers a revised proposal to the Sun board, proposing an acquisition of the company at a price per share of $10 in cash.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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