No, Oracle Isn’t On A ‘Buying Spree’


This weekend saw an article in the WSJ headlined ‘Cash-Rich Oracle Scoops Up Bargains in Recession Spree,’ argiung that Oracle (ORCL) is “quietly going on a shopping spree” and “bargain-hunting amid the worst economy in a generation.” The story even quotes a guy who sold his company to Larry Ellison in 2007 say “Oracle ‘is the new IPO.'”

But there’s one problem with the story: Oracle’s not on a shopping spree at all, and its pace of acquisitions has slowed a bit.

Larry Ellison has long made acquisitions central to Oracle’s strategy, and the page reads likes a trophy collection. But count up the deals:

  • 2008: 11 acquisitions
  • 2007: 11 acquisitions
  • 2006: 13 acquisitions
  • 2005: 13 acquistions (2005 is the last year on the page)

Oracle’s only made one acquistion so far this year, obscure IT configuration company mValent. While Larry is too experienced at the M&A game not to be “bargain-hunting” amidst the recession, if anything Oracle is slowing its acquisition pace — hardly a “buying spree.”