In an October 11 research note titled “Castles in the Air, Downgrading to Perform,” Oppenheimer & Co analyst Ittai Kidron throws cold water on expectations that Brocade will be bought anytime soon.
The speculation began last week, after The Wall Street Journal reported that Brocade was “quietly” shopping itself, and that Oracle and Hewlett-Packard could be potential buyers.
Later, Reuters reported more details: Brocade had in fact been trying to sell itself for several weeks, and HP had kicked the tires — going as far as to begin due diligence — but stopped short of making an offer for the company because they were only interested in certain assets. Then, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison publicly said his company wasn’t about to buy Brocade. Apart from HP and Brocade, analysts have speculated that IBM and Juniper Networks could also be interested.
Oppenheimer’s Kidron explains why Brocade might have trouble finding a buyer:
Brocade’s shares have risen sharply following WSJ reports the company has put itself up for sale. We, however, don’t anticipate a near-term acquisition. We view Brocade’s data center switching as the prime jewel, and it’s unlikely prospective buyers would pay a hefty premium for it solely.