Global software company to acquire SAS, say insiders

Chris Hsia | CC BY-SA 2.0

CARY — American semiconductor manufacturing company Broadcom Inc is in talks to acquire software company SAS Institute Inc, it was reported Monday. According to the Wall Street Journal and a handful of tech media outlets, the deal would close in the range of $15 billion to $20 billion and could close in coming weeks. Both companies had remained silent on the deal as of Tuesday.

Industry analysts say that this is in line with Broadcom’s enterprise software businesses– especially its products from acquired companies CA Technologies and Symantec. The potential acquisition will enable Broadcom to expand its infrastructure software solutions business. 

Broadcom is a global leader in the semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions industry. According to its website, its capabilities include data center networking and storage, enterprise and mainframe software focused on automation, monitoring and security smartphone components, telecoms and factory automation. Largely built through acquisitions, Broadcom has reportedly been on the hunt for more deals ever since President Donald Trump blocked its pursuit in 2018 to buy rival company Qualcomm Inc., stating security risks. 

Founded in 1976, SAS Institute is the Cary-based business analytics software developer founded by NC State alums John Sall and James Goodnight. The company recently pivoted from a traditional client-server software to become a subscription-based SaaS company. With more than 12,000 employees across the world, SAS Institute sells analytics, business-intelligence and data management software. The company competes with the likes of IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Tableau and Tibco, and has customers in 147 countries spread across several industries, including banking, healthcare, retail and manufacturing.

The company’s software is used by more than 83,000 business, government and university sites, according to its website.

After a 50 percent rise in its share value in the past one year, Broadcom’s market value stands at $200 billion. Additionally, Broadcom’s stock reportedly rose one percent as news of the potential acquisition broke.

The acquisition of SAS will reportedly accord Broadcom access to crucial analytics business intelligence and data management software that SAS currently sells. According to industry insiders, Broadcom is increasingly investing in enterprise software offerings as it looks to appeal to more business customers and compete with the likes of Microsoft. 

Tech analysts noted in reports Monday that Broadcom’s potential acquisition of SAS Institute is not surprising, as Broadcom has grown to become a semiconductor powerhouse on the back of a string of acquisitions. In 2018, it struck a $19 billion deal for CA Technologies, followed by the acquisition of the enterprise software division of Symantec Corp., now known as NortonLifeLock for about $10.7 billion the following year.