Could investors force Sun Microsystems (JAVA) to seek an acquirer or sell off units? That’s not a new speculation, but one that’s examined at length in a Reuters story yesterday, in which investment bankers say that “the challenge of valuing Sun’s intertwined software, hardware and services businesses could put off potential buyers” such as rivals HP, IBM and Dell.
The hook for the Reuters story notes is the news last month that investment firm Southeastern Asset Management has increased its stake in Sun to 21 percent and said in an SEC filing that it ““will have additional conversations with management and/or third parties, regarding opportunities to maximize the value of the company.”
What’s likely to happen? The Reuters analysis concludes that it might be easier to sell of a unit, such as StorageTek, than find an acquirer interested in buying all of Sun. But Reuters also acknowledges that some of its sources are investment bankers who might benefit from asset sales.