IBM-Sun Bottom Line: McNealy Had Oracle on Deck
The Station has been asked a few times from readers about what really went on behind the scenes during the IBM-Sun Microsystems acquisition talks in March and early April. Since we're not on Sun's board of directors, nor work at the Wilson Sonsini & Goodrich law firm that was doing the due diligence for IBM, we really do not know for certain. We kept in contact with reliable sources, and they were baffled along with everybody else when Oracle came out of the shadows to make the $7.4 billion deal on April 20.
However, for those of you who want some kind of closure on this deal, here it is, in the most succinct fashion we can provide. It's not that complicated: Scott McNealy knew he had the extra $900 million from Larry Ellison and didn't tell anybody but the board of directors. When IBM balked and offered $6.5 billion, he said no deal, the board backed him up, and Oracle nailed it down two weeks later.
Time to move on.