After big pharma, it now seems to be the technology sector that is looking at acquisitions during the current economic slump where valuations of targets have turned attractive for potentila acquirers.
Broadcom, the supplier of integrated circuits for broadband communications is once again trying to acquire Emulex with an unsolicited offer of $764 million in cash, announced today, after having been rejected in December 2008.
Emulex has advised its ahreholders agains the offer, sayuing, "The board will review the proposal in due course, consistent with its fiduciary duties, in consultation with its financial advisor, Goldman, Sachs & Co, and its legal advisor, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP. Emulex noted that there is no need for Emulex stockholders to take any action at this time."
This technology sector deal comes close after Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems on mutually agreeable terms this week for $7.4 billion (See: Oracle trumps IBM, acquires Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion).
The first time when Irvine, California-based Broadcom approached Emulex in December, the chip maker was sent packing by the board of Emulex saying that the company was not for sale. Emulex also immediately amended the company's byelaws introducing poison-pill defences that made it frightfully expensive for any hostile takeover.
Broadcom has now offered $9.25 per share in cash, which is 40 per cent higher than Emulex's closing price on 20 April.
Since Emulex's technology for transporting information from data centres to storage systems is fast, reliable and difficult to emulate, an area that Broadcom has been trying to enter for years in vain, it becomes an attractive acquisition target.
Broadcom makes chips for servers but Emulex designs chips that make these servers connect to large storage disks that transports huge amount of data and the combined company could come up with a single chip doing both jobs effectively.
Broadcom's chief executive Scott McGregor said in a statement, "Our combined entity can be a one-stop shop for key networking and storage technologies."
Broadcom believes that its leadership in Ethernet networking, together with Emulex's deep expertise in fibre channel storage networking, will enable the combined company to accelerate the development of converged solutions for enterprise networks.
Most analysts feel that Emulex will reject this offer as too low as the current recession environment is good for buying companies but not selling them.
Emulex said in a statement that its board is considering the offer and advised its shareholders that there was no need to take any action at this time.
Broadcom also said that both companies have highly-skilled engineering employees with expertise in different product areas. Emulex's employees would benefit from the ability to utilise Broadcom's vast intellectual property, engineering resources and substantial R&D scale while Broadcom's employees would benefit from Emulex's strong position and expertise within the storage market for host bus adapters and diversified channels.
Broadcom has also filed a suit in the Delaware court against Emulex and its board for amending the bylaws of the company since the amendment can be done only by shareholders holding more than 66 per cent of outstanding shares of the company.
Interestingly, Broadcom has acquired 40 companies since its inception in 1991 with a record number of 12 acquisitions being made in the year 2000 alone.