Arik Hesseldahl

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Larry Ellison: I Have $29 Billion, and No, I Won’t Buy Your Company (Audio)

Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, says he’s done shopping for acquisitions for now, thank you very much. Never mind the fact that Oracle has $29 billion in cash and marketable securities on its balance sheet and has spent $42 billion in acquisitions since 2005.

Rumors that Oracle is considering another acquisition appear with unsurprising regularity given the pace of its deal-making over the last several years. One such rumor I noticed late last year was around Autonomy. Others companies mentioned in Oracle-takeover rumors that haven’t materialized are Ultimate Software, Lawson and Blackboard. The reason?

Over the years, Oracle has often grown by acquisitions, but that works only when the valuations of target companies are attractive. Right now they’re too high, Ellison says. President and CFO Safra Catz put it much more simply at the end of the audio clip below: Valuations are, right now, “quite ridiculous.” Meanwhile, as today’s earnings results show, Oracle is growing just fine organically without making any big deals for now, he says.

Still, that didn’t stop Oracle from acquiring privately held Web software player Fatwire just yesterday.

You can hear Ellison and Catz discuss it in the audio highlight below. The clip opens with the final question from today’s earnings conference call, from Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison Says He’s Done Shopping For Deals, For Now by ahess247

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik