If Oracle Doesn’t Have an M&A Budget, Then Larry Ellison Doesn’t Have an Ego
Oracle isn’t going to spend $70 billion on acquisitions over the next five years, despite President Charles Phillips’s claim that it will likely do just that.
Remarking on Oracle’s acquisition plans at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2010 conference last week, Phillips said, “If you look forward for the next five years, we’ll probably double what we’ve spent on acquisitions in the last five years….If things hold up, we could easily do that.” He added that the company is particularly interested in vertical business-software firms as well as hardware firms. “There’s plenty left to do,” he noted.
That may be so, but Oracle (ORCL) would prefer not to be known as the company planning to do it. In a hastily issued statement, Oracle “clarified” Phillips’s comments, insisting its acquisition strategy remains unchanged. “Oracle does not have a five-year acquisition budget,” said spokeswoman Karen Tillman. “We don’t even have a one-year acquisition budget. While it is highly unlikely that we will spend anything approaching $70 billion in five years, we will be opportunistic and, if market conditions warrant, we will buy additional companies that further our strategic goals and address our customers’ needs.”
Hard to believe that a company as aggressively acquisitive as Oracle doesn’t have an M&A budget, but evidently that’s the party line and by the sound of things, Phillips clearly overstepped it.