BMC and CA in agreeable acquisition talks – report

The world may need only one company where old software goes to die

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BMC and CA are considering a consensual acqui-merger, reports Bloomberg.

Citing sources familiar with the talks, the report says the two companies have chatted to banks about how to put together the US$13bn or so needed to acquire CA's outstanding shares, to take the company private.

BMC went private in 2013 in a $6.9bn deal funded by private equiteers.

CA has been public since the early 1990s, but its $4bn revenues in FY 2017 match the figure it recorded in 1997. The company has had a few better years in the interim, but plenty of worse years too, especially in the early 2000s as it recovered from a revenue recognition scandal that saw several senior execs jailed. Its stock price has drifted upwards to levels not seen since the 1990s in recent years and it pays decent dividends.

The company is famously acquisitive, racking up more than 200 acquisitions over its lifetime. Those buys were often niche products that users of legacy systems are likely to find useful, but it's been years since CA has had a hit. It's therefore hard to see how the company would excite shareholders seeking big returns, especially given cloud's potential to accelerate redevelopment and re-platforming of old code.

CA is in many ways similar to BMC, as both have long focused on those who develop and tend complex applications, generally on old-school platforms. Both are now chasing developers hard. Combining the companies would reduce a little overlap, concentrate the market for their management tools and perhaps give investors something to be more excited about. ®


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