Report: Brocade On The Block, HP And Oracle Among Suitors?

Neither the company nor any potential suitors have confirmed as much yet, but a report in The Wall Street Journal Monday cited unnamed sources and said Brocade has put itself on the market. The Journal also reported that Hewlett-Packard and Oracle were among the potential bidders.

Speculation sent shares of Brocade soaring 14 percent in premarket trading Monday morning. Brocade has a market capitalization of about $3.2 billion and last year saw revenue of about $1.5 billion.

Spokespersons for Brocade, HP and Oracle did not immediately return requests for comment by Channelweb Monday morning.

Brocade's many industry partnerships include both HP and Sun Microsystems, which Oracle is itself acquiring. Brocade's portfolio of data networking products and services would seem attractive to both vendors -- more data networking gear for HP and its ProCurve networking division, for one, or a complement to what Sun brings in hardware to Oracle, principally a software vendor.

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Brocade in December 2008 finished its acquisition of Foundry, a $2.6 billion deal that upped Brocade's total enterprise networking portfolio to better compete with the likes of Cisco.

Brocade also recently announced a partnership for enterprise data center products with Dell, and late last month added two blades to its DCX Backbone switch family, as well as expanded its Alliance Partner Network with new services offerings for channel partners.

The sale of Brocade would continue a string of major acquisitions and industry consolidation in recent weeks.

First came word that Dell would acquire systems integrator Perot Systems, followed shortly by another integrator purchase, that of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) by Xerox.

Cisco itself also continued a recent string of acquisitions last week by picking up videoconferencing market leader Tandberg.