Sun heeft vandaag aangekondigd dat zij Cobalt Networks hebben overgenomen voor 2 miljard in aandelen. Cobalt is fabrikant van goedkope en gebruiksvriendelijke web-, caching-, NAS en mailservers zoals de populaire Cobalt Cube en Cobalt RAQ. De overname van Cobalt geeft Sun in één klap een sterke marktpositie in de groeiende markt voor low-end internet servers. Ook interessant is de eerdere aankondiging van Sun dat zij een embedded versie van de UltraSparc II processor gaan maken. Het lijkt waarschijnlijk dat deze UltraSparc IIe op termijn ook zijn toepassing zal vinden in de produkten van Cobalt, die tot op heden gebruik maakten van MIPS en AMD processors:
Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW - news) and Cobalt Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: COBT - news) today announced that they have entered into an agreement pursuant to which Sun will acquire Cobalt in a stock-for-stock merger. Cobalt is a leading supplier of server appliance products -- easy to use and cost effective devices that function as engines for the delivery of network based services. This acquisition accelerates Sun's entry into the growing server appliance marketplace and bolsters its long-standing focus on network computing. Sun is already a leading provider of low-end, mid-range and large-scale servers to the enterprise and service provider marketplaces; Cobalt's products will add a server appliance offering to that portfolio and expand Sun's offerings for service providers.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, each share of Cobalt common stock will be converted into 0.5 Sun shares resulting in an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.0 billion. This acquisition will be accounted for as a purchase and is expected to be completed during Sun's second quarter of fiscal 2001, which ends December 31, 2000. The closing of the acquisition is subject to governmental approvals, Cobalt shareholder approval and customary closing conditions. Sun estimates that the transaction will be accretive to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, gains on the sale of equity investments and in-process research and development charges (operating EBITDA) for the second half of this fiscal year. Following completion of the merger, Cobalt will become the server appliance business unit of Sun's Network Service Provider organization, reporting to Sun Executive Vice President John McFarlane.
``Today we're acquiring Cobalt to establish ourselves in low-end server appliances and immediately jump into the marketplace with a proven, world class product offering. This move is similar to our entry into the high-end server arena, which we did through our acquisition of Starfire server technology from Cray. Just as that product line has become one of our most successful product lines to date, we think the demand for these high-volume, turnkey devices will explode in the next couple of years. Cobalt is our bet for the future,'' said Ed Zander, President and Chief Operating Officer, Sun Microsystems, Inc.