back to article Sun begs IBM to come back and talk

If IBM would only commit a little more to the deal, Sun is keen to resume takeover talks again, according to Bloomberg. It is citing two people close to the talks, which ended on April 5th. At that point IBM withdrew an offer for Sun valued at around $6.85bn or aproximately $9.40 per Sun share, after Sun terminated exclusive …


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  1. Richard

    I'll buy them for that price, what's the exchange rate?

    "Sun valued at around $6.85 or aproximately $9.40 per Sun share"

    I'm sure I could afford the $6.85, I do find it odd there's only 0.729 shares in existence though.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    If I were IBM CEO, I would wait now for 2 or 3 months and pay half of that :p


  3. Ian Chard

    Sun's support

    has got slowly and progressively worse over the years, but sadly it's still the best I've used. I've never dealt with IBM's support operation; anyone care to tell me what I might be in for?

  4. Pony Tail
    Dead Vulture

    The whole board should be fired

    The company needs either a new coach or needs to merge with a new team.

    Think of this like a basket ball team where you have a coach more interested in talking to press and the fans vs. helping the team on the court. The team is tired, fed up and is looking to be acquired even if it means they will lose their job. Everything is in complete disarray.

    It's 9pm and the sky is red.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    IBM took one look at the size of the golden parachutes, and another look at the "you'll pay us even if the DOJ/FTC puts the kibosh on it" paragraph, giggled, and said "f*ck no!"

    IBM has been burnt enough times that it's no longer that stupid.

    This is just a sign that ponytail & co have just no contact with reality at all. Your company's circling the drain, and now is not the time to jerk potential buyers around.

    Gee, I can't understand why Sun isn't talking to Oracle? Is it because Uncle Larry would end up with McNealy & Schwartz scrubbing the deck on his yacht?

  6. amanfromMars Silver badge

    House of the Rising Sun for AIMagical Mystery Turing Trips ...... around ZerodDay Trading Posts.

    "So a $6.85bn deal foundered on a $3m parachute. Yeah, right on, pull the other one, it has bells on it.

    Methinks this speculative comment, if true, told IBM everything about the strength of Sun's Intellectual Property and whether it was going to be any competition or help for them ..."Sun wanted a much firmer commitment from IBM to complete the takeover in the face of potential anti-trust objections."

    If your leading the Game and Markets you aint worried about petty rules and pen pushers, so Sun have no get up and go flair, and who needs dead wood in a Virgin Forest Field.

    "The company needs either a new coach or needs to merge with a new team." .... By Pony Tail Posted Thursday 16th April 2009 13:48 GMT ...... Amen to that, Pony Tail. The Problem and the Aswer in a Nutshell ....... However, not withstanding the above raw speculation, with a new coach bringing Leading IPMoves to Energise Servers and Regenerate the old team Players would IBM then have a major Problem, for they would then be Vulnerable, and how crazy would that be? And for all of you who would say it cannot happen, all I would say is ..... Lehman Bros.

    And that is Sun Saved and Beaming and Frying the Opposition and all for the Price of a Team Coach in a New Power Control Paradigm. Man, is that a Bargain or is that a Bargain?

  7. Tails
    Thumb Up

    Why not Novell?

    Seriously. Why not?

  8. Ian Michael Gumby

    People are forgetting something...

    Sun isn't dead and it can survive on its own if the proper restructuring takes place.

    Sure the biggest downfall is the billion Sun paid for mySQL. They can however turn this around by making a serious investment in to the product and by creating a commercial version that creates value.

    Sun also could grow its own services division and revenue, again under the right conditions and guidance.

    Sun would also be advised to pay heed to the McKinsey report that cloud computing costs more money in the long run and to not gamble their future on creating clouds.

    Its a shame that Cisco backed out of the deal. My guess is that there may be some politics between Cisco and IBM that could have influenced the deal.

    I mean IBM may not want to commit to Sun, but that doesn't mean that an IBM senior exec couldn't have picked up the phone and called a 'friend' at Cisco to have a conversation.... ;-)

    Sun definitely has some baggage and would be a hard enough pill for anyone to swallow. But adding the chance that you'll piss off one of your major business partners in the process? Not a good idea.

    Any change in management would be a bit of a culture shock, but if done correctly, it could work.

    Black Helicopter because its something IBM doesn't want Sun to know. The Bloomberg article is Sun blinking first.

  9. zvonr

    More rumors...

    just like this one in 1998:

    It would be more interesting to know who the heck spreads the rumors, and see maybe he has a grandma in Eastern Europe who traded Sun stock recently ...

  10. David Halko
    Dead Vulture

    Where did "beg" come from?

    After specifying IBM needed to "commit a little more", the writer indicates, "Sun terminated exclusive negotiations with IBM."

    This article states, "Sun’s board unanimously rejected the offer last weekend"

    Southeastern Asset Management Inc. had recently appointed 2 members on the board - they were going to lose money on the IBM offer.

    IBM did not want to fulfill the contractual obligations to Scott McNealy & Jonathyn Schwartz - that would place IBM in a lawsuit with two people who voted against the offer.

    Jonathyn indicated the price was too low and expressed uncertainty concerning whether the acquisition would actually take place.

    How did Chris Mellor come to the headline, "Sun begs IBM to come back and talk"?

    The conclusion is not supported by the article or details from other articles.

  11. Shane Kent

    termination pay?

    IBM should make them pay back their last year of salary? Just to teach them a lesson for being arrogant and greedy. Arrogant in that they are worth a nickel because the company is in bad shape. CEOs, etc. of faltering companies should get minimum wage!

  12. Bill Gould
    Gates Halo

    Join the dark side

    If only MS would throw an offer on the table. Buy Sun, kill Java and the world can move on dancing tra-la tra-la. I hate you java, with the white hot death of a burning universe I hate you.

  13. GreyWolf


    "And that is Sun Saved and Beaming and Frying the Opposition and all for the Price of a Team Coach in a New Power Control Paradigm. Man, is that a Bargain or is that a Bargain?"

    OK friend, are you volunteering? We would so like to see that!

  14. Paul Tubing

    Phony Tail's salary

    Last year Phony Tail earned $11 Million ($11,104,659) in total executive compensation. I suspect it was 3 times this figure that made IBM choke. Either that, or his management skills. [exec pay from here:

  15. Lou

    usual Chris Mellor pony paper trash talk

    Elreg get some decent reporter/editors PLEASE! Or you should go and beat up the idiot who wrote the header. This article and its header has no relevance.

    Chris - repeating this based on rumours and conjunction does not make it any more true. It makes good copy in a pony paper though but detracts from the quality of ElReg's articles.

    I had to laugh at the share price idiocy though - if IBM thought Sun was worth $9 a share then it is worth $9 a share. The problem is companies are judged on their market perceptions and niot their true value. Example google.

  16. David Halko

    @Shane Kent: Jonathyn and Scott demonstrated lack of greed

    Shane Kent suggests, "IBM should make them pay back their last year of salary? Just to teach them a lesson for being arrogant and greedy."


    The contracts from Jonathyn and Scott indicate, according to the news reports, that if SUN was acquired, they would both receive 3 years worth of salary.

    This does not make them greedy, rather this is the agreement from the company in order to encourage them to sell the company!

    If both of the executives voted no, and they did according to the news reports, then this shows the world that they are not greedy, otherwise they would have voted for the sale, and pocketed the money, for 3 years worth of pay when they would not have to work!

    Additional executive compensation is based upon the performance of the company, if the company does not perform well, then their compensation decreases. If they were both greedy, they just would have ordered enough of firing to bring the number of workers in-line with the budget, instead of holding many developers & researchers during the tough time they had after the dot-com bust.

    Arrogance is assuming one knows more than they do, speaking out, and demonstrating it.

    Clearly, Jonathyn and Scott were not the individuals demonstrating this attribute, when reading the contents of your comment...

  17. Pony Tail

    If IBM wants to buy Sun they need to pay pony tail boy more than Sam

    Sam makes $1.8M in base salary.....and you wonder why IBM would not pay Pony Tail $33M

  18. Kevin Hutchinson
    Paris Hilton

    Knife, fork and spoon

    I hear that Jon Schwartz is a fan of and gourmet cuisine:


    "Sun could certainly split itself up and sell the bits to different companies such as Fujitsu (Sparc), IBM (Java, Netbeans, storage), Oracle (MySQL) and Cisco (switches). The parts might even be worth more than the whole. However, Sun is unlikely to get back the money it has spent on acquisitions – $4bn on StorageTek and $1bn on MySQL, to name but two – and there would be parts left over."

    Fork: OpenOffice 2.0.4 Novell Edition at

    "The Novell® Edition of contains enhancements that are not available in the standard edition. These include..."

    Spoon: - James Gosling, father of Java says:

    "I know the economy is a mess, and it feels like the world is melting down, but JavaOne is a great opportunity to get your head out of all of that and take a geek's vacation. Come join us!"

    PS I think Sun will do nicely in 2010, but I'm holding May put options to enjoy the ride on April 28th when Sun posts FYQ3 results which are very likely to show a severe slowdown in big iron sales, but possibly glimmers of hope from MySQL and Java revenue streams. Target price is $5.50 per JAVA share.

    PPS Paris, coz she's tasty!

  19. Dapprman

    @ Ian Chard

    It might just be a case that when your hardware is worth a lot they give great service, but IBM's server support is very good. I've not noticed an issue with Sun's either.

  20. Sean Aaron

    Why not go private?

    I really don't understand why McNealy wouldn't just take the company private if he really values what he created and get shut of all the stock market nonsense.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM doesn't want regulators to look through their books

    My belief is that IBM has talked to government regulators about the proposed deal and realized that they'd have to open up their books, possibly opening up a can of worms and insight into IBM's business which may not be as sound as everyone thinks.

  22. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Horses for Courses

    Grey Wolf ,

    If Sun are into Magical Mystery Turing Trips, and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActivity, it would be stupid to turn down an offer from volunteers that would render IBM the bride at the altar ..... and ready for a new wooing.

    "Sun would also be advised to pay heed to the McKinsey report that cloud computing costs more money in the long run and to not gamble their future on creating clouds." .... By Ian Michael Gumby Posted Thursday 16th April 2009 16:04 GMT

    And what would McKinsey know of cloud computing, IMG, that would have anyone listen to them or give credence to their views? Do they have a Cloud Presence? No, I didn't think so ......and therefore can fully understand their point of view.

  23. John Henderson

    SUN's future

    I recall Cray went through similar bouts of self-doubt and lack of direction, culminating in the sale to SGI in 1996 - and we knowhow that turned out. I think that was a abrogation of responsibility by the Cray board and executive leadership team then, and this is the same at SUN today. Sun has been an outstanding company and today has a complete range of competent solutions for business and research - of US ICT companies, only IBM is comparably endowed. It seems to me that this is the sort of thing IBM would do to stop a competitor (HP? Fujitsu?) doing. Essentially doing the wrong thing for the wrong reasons - it does not deserve to succeed. In the interim it destabalises Sun as a company and undermines its prospective sales, particularly market expanding sales. Really that is bad all round - bad for Sun, bad for Sun share holders and bad for customers and consumers.

    It appears it ain't over yet - vultures will pick Sun over and it will become weaker as its own lack of direction and leadership undermine its technology and market share - and it appears IBM has necessarily given up either. The American business model falters badly when growth stops - this wouldn't happen to a Japanese company or a European one for that matter.

    The board and executive leadership team at Sun should get on with running an iconic and innovative computer company, not abandoning ship.

  24. David Halko

    @Sean Aaron - why...

    Sean Aaron states, "I really don't understand why McNealy wouldn't just take the company private"

    Now that SUN is a public company, it is not the decision of any one person, to take it private.

    Now that SUN has a large investor who owns a significant number of shares at a higher price than what the stock is valued at by the market (now) and they have members on the board - going private would most likely cause a loss in their investment, so this would probably not be voted for by those board members.

    If SUN makes some good profit in 2009 with new products (i.e. 16 core CoolThreads T3 or 16 core RoCK) - then the stock price should rise, or it would be a good opportunity to go private (i.e. buy back the stocks at a price where existing board members would receive a significant return on their investment.)

    Of course, if 2009 is a bust year for SUN (i.e. no release of T3 or RoCK) or a release of both products with no profit - then this could be the coffin nail. SUN will need additional investment to develop T3+, T4, RoCK+, or RoCK2.

    While some people are concerned about the next phase of SUN's mid-range to high-end product lines, I think this concern is very silly. It is just a matter of time, until release. I am most concerned about the next generation, where I have seen no product design or time-line.

    Then again, besides shrinking dies and adding cores - I have not seen any thought leadership in the silicon area of CPU design, in general.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Todays announcement

    shows how inaccurate this article was doesn' t it?

    Now I'm not going to trust the date on these articles, never mind the content.

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