I.B.M. had a team of more than 100 lawyers conducting due-diligence research on potential problems in a purchase of Sun, ranging from those antitrust concerns to Sun’s contracts with employees and I.B.M. competitors.
After the legal review, I.B.M. shaved its offer Saturday from $9.55 a share, the proposal on the table late last week, to $9.40 a share, said one person familiar with the talks. The offer was presented to Sun’s board on Saturday, and the board balked. The Sun board did not reject the offer outright, but wanted certain guarantees that the I.B.M. side considered “onerous,” according to that person.
Sun then said it would no longer abide by its exclusive negotiating agreement with I.B.M., a second person familiar with the discussions said. On Sunday, I.B.M.’s board decided to withdraw the offer.
Sounds as though IBM dropped its offer twice which is not usually the way to conduct an acquisition successfully. I have a feeling this won’t be the last we hear of this deal…