Database giant Oracle has agreed to buy cloud company NetSuite for about $9.3 billion in cash, furthering its efforts in the cloud computing arena despite its co-founder’s earlier resistance to the very concept of cloud computing. The transaction is set to close this year, the companies said in a release.
“Oracle and NetSuite cloud applications are complementary and will coexist in the marketplace forever,” said Oracle CEO Mark Hurd in the release. “We intend to invest heavily in both products – engineering and distribution.”
NetSuite, founded in 1998, claims in the release to have “pioneered the cloud computing revolution, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the Internet.” Like Oracle, it offers online, subscription-based financial and enterprise resource planning applications that are used by more than 30,000 organizations in more than 100 countries. Both companies compete with Salesforce, though Oracle and Salesforce announced a nine-year partnership in 2013.
Oracle co-founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison owned 39.7 percent of NetSuite’s shares as of April, according to Fortune. That and the acquisition are somewhat ironic in view of Ellison’s vigorous and very public skepticism about cloud computing in 2009.
He called it “complete gibberish” and “idiocy,” opening the door for rivals such as Amazon.com and Microsoft to gain a lead.
But since then, Oracle has shifted more toward the cloud — though Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) revenue made up only 6 percent of its total $10.6 billion in the quarter ended May 31, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) accounted for only 2 percent. In contrast, Microsoft’s Intelligent Cloud segment, which accounts for most of that company’s cloud, accounted for 33 percent of the total revenue for the most recent quarter, though the comparison is imprecise because Microsoft does not break out SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.
NetSuite president and CEO Zach Nelson served as Oracle’s marketing VP from 1996 to 1998. Given that lineage, Forbes reporter Alex Konrad described today’s acquisition as a “homecoming of sorts for NetSuite, but one the company had fended off for years.”
Here’s the full press release:
Redwood Shores and San Mateo, CA —July 28, 2016—Oracle (NYSE: ORCL) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire NetSuite (NYSE: N), the very first cloud company. The transaction is valued at $109.00 per share in cash, or approximately $9.3 billion.
“Oracle and NetSuite cloud applications are complementary, and will coexist in the marketplace forever,” said Mark Hurd, Chief Executive Officer, Oracle. “We intend to invest heavily in both products – engineering and distribution.”
“We expect this acquisition to be immediately accretive to Oracle’s earnings on a non-GAAP basis in the first full fiscal year after closing,” said Safra Catz, Chief Executive Officer, Oracle.
“NetSuite has been working for 18 years to develop a single system for running a business in the cloud,” said Evan Goldberg, Founder, Chief Technology Officer and Chairman, NetSuite. “This combination is a winner for NetSuite’s customers, employees and partners.”
“NetSuite will benefit from Oracle’s global scale and reach to accelerate the availability of our cloud solutions in more industries and more countries,” said Zach Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, NetSuite. “We are excited to join Oracle and accelerate our pace of innovation.”
The Board of Directors of NetSuite, based on the unanimous recommendation of the Transaction Committee, has unanimously approved the transaction. The Transaction Committee is composed solely of independent directors.
The transaction is expected to close in 2016. The closing of the transaction is subject to receiving certain regulatory approvals and satisfying other closing conditions including NetSuite stockholders tendering a majority of NetSuite’s outstanding shares in the tender offer. In addition, the closing is subject to a condition that a majority of NetSuite’s outstanding shares not owned by executive officers or directors of NetSuite, or persons affiliated with Larry Ellison, his family members and any affiliated entities, be tendered in the tender offer.
For more information about NetSuite, please visit www.netsuite.com.
Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud applications and platform services. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.
In 1998, NetSuite pioneered the Cloud Computing revolution, establishing the world’s first company dedicated to delivering business applications over the Internet. Today, NetSuite provides a suite of cloud-based financials / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and omnichannel commerce software that runs the business of more than 30,000 companies, organizations, and subsidiaries in more than 100 countries.