Isilon, F5 Being Primed for Buyouts, Reports Say

10/4/10

Both Seattle-based Isilon Systems (NASDAQ: ISLN) and F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV) are rumored to be potential candidates for acquisitions, according to two recent reports.

Isilon, which has a market value of $1.52 billion, may be shopping itself around to possible buyers, according to a report by Bloomberg. The Bloomberg story cites two anonymous sources briefed on the matter, who indicated that the company is hoping to arrange the same kind of bidding war that sprung up last month between Hewlett-Packard and Dell over another data-storage company, 3Par. HP eventually won, buying out 3Par for $2.35 billion, amounting to triple its stock price per share from its price before bidding began.

Isilon co-founder and chief executive Sujal Patel declined to comment to Bloomberg on the matter, but Rajesh Ghai, an analyst at San Francisco-based ThinkEquity told the news service that in the data storage market acquisitions arena, “Isilon is definitely a name that comes up.” Ghai also told Bloomberg that Dell’s loss to HP in the 3Par bidding war could put Isilon in its sights for a future acquisition.

As the data storage sector heats up, networking firm F5 may also be facing a potential buyout. According to a report by Reuters, the company was first approached regarding an acquisition deal a year ago, and is currently on the radar for a number of big technology companies looking to expand in the data center realm, including IBM (NYSE: IBM), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO). The Reuters story sites two anonymous sources as well, who said the company decided not to run an auction, despite having a number of potential buyers. F5 declined to comment to Reuters.

Thea Chard is a correspondent for Xconomy Seattle. You can e-mail her at theachard@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/theachard. Follow @

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