5 big buys of the Big Blue

IBM is set to acquire Red Hat in a blockbuster 34 bn deal designed to bolster the tech giant’s hybrid cloud capabilities. 


In a blockbuster deal, 107-year-old tech firm IBM, ‘the big blue’ is set to acquire enterprise open source provider Red Hat for USD 34 billion in cash to boost the tech giant’s hybrid cloud capabilities.

This acquisition is set to be bigger than Microsoft’s USD 26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn. However, it is not the biggest tech acquisition ever, as the title belongs to Dell for the USD 67 bn buyout of data storage business EMC.

Apart from the recent announcement, IBM has put its skin in the game when it comes to acquiring companies to bolster its portfolio. 

Here are the five top buys by the Big Blue IBM

1) Red Hat for USD 34 bn

Since this is the biggest ever merger for IBM, this tops the chart. The Big Blue announced that it would pay a record USD 34 billion in cash and debt to acquire enterprise open source provider Red Hat.

Related: Why IBM acquiring Red Hat is a game-changer for the cloud market

2)  PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting arm for USD 3.5 bn

The acquisition created a new global business unit, IBM Business Consulting Services, comprising more than 30,000 consulting professionals of IBM and PwC each. After this deal IBM became one of the world's largest consulting services organizations, with operations in more than 160 countries. Under the terms of the transaction, IBM paid PwC approximately USD 3.5 billion in cash and stock.

3) Cognos for USD 5 bn

Cognos, one of the major providers of business intelligence and performance improvement software was acquired by IBM for nearly USD 5 bn. The Ottawa-based firm was known to analyse data to identify customer’s buying trends. IBM paid approximately 5 times the company’s annual revenue and 39 times its annual net earnings of about USD 126 million.

4) Sterling Commerce for USD 1.4 bn

IBM acquired Sterling Commerce from AT&T for approximately USD 1.4 billion in cash. The Dublin, OH-based company expanded IBM's ability to help organizations by automating the way they connect and communicate with customers, partners and suppliers both on premise and through cloud. IBM also acquired cloud computing company Cast Iron, health care data management firm Initiate and Intelliden.

5) FileNet Corporation for USD 1.6 bn

The Big Blue acquired the business process and enterprise content management specialist firm FileNet for 1.6 bn. FileNet's operations were integrated into IBM's Information Management software business. According to a report published on IBM’s official site, the idea behind this acquisition was to advance its Information on Demand strategy.