Oracle has seemingly backed away from a potential acquisition of Accenture, and is now claiming it had "never even considered it".
The denial follows The Register's report last week that Oracle had brought in some bean-counters to do due diligence on a potential deal, which would of course have been an immensely bold, complicated and pricey move: NYSE-listed Accenture has a market cap of $77.5bn, and its shareholders would expect a premium offer.
Sources informed us that the database giant had engaged a team of consultants to conduct due diligence to, according to one source, "explore the synergies that could be created if they [Oracle] bought Accenture lock, stock and barrel," while another noted that the process was at an early stage, saying: "If buying Accenture was a 100 metre race, Oracle is at the 10 to 15 metre stage now".
Oracle refused to comment at the time, but spokeswoman Deborah Hillinger has since denied that an acquisition will take place, claiming: "The Accenture rumour is completely untrue. Never even considered it."
That, according to The Register's sources, is not true.
Oracle and Accenture have a long history of working together, and almost two years ago launched a business group with the aim of converting more customers from old-world technology to web services.
Under this agreement, customers are offered pre-integrated tech and services; cloud readiness assessments and data migration; and vertical "solutions" and extensions to reduce the need for customisation. At launch, the pair had a combined 52,000 Oracle consultants and 20,000 Java pros.
Of course, any potential deal to acquire Accenture would have to dwarf Oracle's $10bn buy of PeopleSoft, its $7.4bn deal for Sun Microsystems, and more recently, the $9.3bn splashed on Netsuite. The latter acquisition swelled Oracle's cloud sales according to the latest set of quarterly numbers (Q3) but the company needs to boost organic cloud numbers to offset declines in the traditional licensing business.
Accenture could widen Oracle's relevance in the world of clouds too, itself having jumped into the cloud in a big way last year when it slurped Cloud Sherpas for a reported $350m to $400m.
In buying Accenture, Oracle would be taking a leaf out of the mid-noughties handbook – when HP fatefully bought EDS and IBM acquired PWC to carve out a brighter future. Whether such an acquisition will now happen is unclear. ®