The purchase would give IBM access to customers that are attached to the Sun brand, according to a person familiar with the situation who declined to be identified because the talks are private. IBM may pay at least $6.5 billion, the Wall Street Journal said, valuing Sun at almost twice its $4.97 closing price yesterday.
According to Bloomberg, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano said last week he planned to "go on offense" during the recession, pursuing acquisitions and investing in research. A purchase would give Palmisano a greater share of a shrinking market. Last quarter, server sales declined 14 percent, the largest drop since the aftermath of the dot-com bust, noted the report.