Microsoft and Adobe have met, and talked about Microsoft buying Adobe, the New York Times reports.
How much would it cost Microsoft to buy Adobe? We think it would be a 20-30% premium above Adobe’s enterprise value, which would equal $15-$17 billion.
Considering Microsoft has shied from big acquisitions, this is a hefty price tag. But it’s not much for Microsoft. The company throws off enough cash each year that it could pay for Adobe in one year.
And unlike some acquisitions Microsoft could pursue, buying Adobe makes sense.
Microsoft is the biggest software company in the world. Adobe is one of the biggest. They offer a similar product with Flash and Silverlight. Consolidating that into one product would make sense.
Adobe’s creative suite of products would also be valuable for Microsoft.
But how could these companies combine to fight Apple? That was part of the Times’ original story.
Creative Suite is very popular for Mac. With Microsoft’s backing, Adobe could use this in some way to fight Apple. Maybe threaten to slow development for the Mac? Who knows, but Adobe would have more leverage with Microsoft at its back.
Another idea: Adobe and Microsoft could work on making the combined Flash-Silverlight awesome for mobile platforms other than Apple.