AMD Refutes Oracle Acquisition Speculation

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison reiterated his interest in buying a chip maker, but AMD CEO Dirk Meyer said his company is not for sale, though he would listen to offers.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says he is still interested in acquiring more companies-semiconductor makers and software vendors remain high on his wish list-but that doesn't mean Advanced Micro Devices is up for sale.


During Oracle's annual stockholders meeting Oct. 6, Ellison reiterated his interest to continue his years-long buying spree, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The comments come less than two weeks after Ellison, during an analyst meeting following his Oracle OpenWorld 2010 conference, first mentioned buying a chip maker, sparking speculation around such companies as AMD, ARM, Nvidia, Broadcom and Marvell.

Ellison backed up those comments at the shareholders meeting.

"My point really was that we are interested in buying intellectual property of all kinds," Ellison said, adding that processors fall under that IP label. "We would be interested in certain kinds of semiconductor companies and software companies. Most of our acquisitions and the bulk of our strategy are in creating and acquiring intellectual property, including chips."

Oracle took a significant step into the hardware realm earlier this year, when it bought Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion. Along with such software as Java and Solaris, Oracle also acquired Sun's hardware and SPARC chip business.

Oracle officials have been vocal about their plans to grow the SPARC chip line. At OpenWorld, Oracle introduced the SPARC T3 chip, which offers up to 16 cores and integrated components, including 10 Gigabit Ethernet and encryption.

They also announced an enhanced Exadata system and a new Exalogic system, both sporting the Oracle and Sun logos.

Oracle also will continue offering a line of x86 systems based on Intel, though officials have kept the door open to offering AMD-based systems again in the future.

AMD CEO Dirk Meyer, speaking at a conference in Barcelona Oct. 6, was cagey while talking about speculation that his company is in play.

"AMD is not for sale, but we are happy to listen to any proposal which is in the interest to our shareholders," he said during the conference, according to Reuters.

AMD had a strong first half of 2010, rebounding from recession-wracked 2009. However, like Intel and other chip makers, a weakening in consumer PC demand is putting a squeeze on the financial numbers for the rest of the year.

AMD officials announced Sept. 23 that sales for the third quarter likely will come in 1 to 4 percent lower than the $1.65 billion the company generated in the second quarter. After the second quarter, AMD officials had said they expected revenues in the third quarter to rise seasonally.