IBM / Sequent Merger
IBM and Sequent Computer Systems entered into a merger which brings together hardware and software technologies with global presence and partnerships. The move is an effort to further advance IBM’s thrust in UNIX and NT servers, and support IBM's strategy to deliver solutions for e-businesses, emerging "NetGen" companies, and UNIX and NT customers, large and small.IBM will pay $18.00 in cash for each outstanding share of Sequent common stock. The transaction, when completed, is expected to have a total equity value of approximately $810 million.IBM will begin selling Sequent’s (a leader in systems based on NUMA architecture with a worldwide customer installed base) product line globally immediately following completion of the merger. IBM will integrate Sequent technologies into IBM products. Similarly, Sequent plans to benefit from IBM’s technological, manufacturing and global sales prowess. NUMA (non-uniform memory access) is advanced hardware and software that allows large numbers of processors to operate as a single system while maintaining the ease of programming and manageability of a small system. Sequent’s systems use up to 64 Intel microprocessors (with plans to use 256) for a variety of e-business related applications, including data warehousing and business intelligence. "NUMA will be a defining technology for early 21st century UNIX and NT servers," said Robert M. Stephenson, IBM senior vice president and group executive, IBM Server Group. "Increasingly, customers want servers that can scale quickly to manage unpredictable workloads or spikes in online traffic. NUMA is an elegant solution, combining industry leading scalability and excellent manageability."Today, many enterprises use both UNIX and NT servers, and this trend will increase over time. Sequent’s technology addresses that UNIX and NT interoperability on a single system issue. In March of 1998, Sequent introduced the NUMACenter mixed UNIX and Windows NT environment. This solution allows customers to build IT infrastructures, leveraging the respective strengths of UNIX and Windows NT.In October of 1998, Sequent was a founding member of Project Monterey, an IBM-led initiative to create a high-volume, enterprise-ready, commercial UNIX operating system supporting both IBM and Intel architectures. SCO and Intel also were original members, and Project Monterey has since expanded to include many leading software vendors and systems manufacturers. This merger will enhance the development efforts of Project Monterey, which is poised to become the industry’s leading commercial UNIX, providing economies-of-scale to customers, software vendors and systems manufacturers."Sequent will be able to extend its customer base by taking advantage of IBM’s global presence and partnerships," said Casey Powell, chairman and CEO of Sequent. Sequent’s systems complement IBM’s scalable RS/6000 line of servers. IBM’s RS/6000 UNIX systems range from scientific and commercial workstations to the world’s most powerful supercomputers. In fact, the new RS/6000 S80 server (which will begin shipping in the third quarter) has set records for Internet, Java and clustering performanceAs a result of the merger:* IBM will market and sell Sequent’s NUMA-Q 1000 and 2000 using IBM’s worldwide sales force.* IBM will enable its business partner network to market and sell Sequent’s current products.* The IBM and Sequent development teams will accelerate their work on Project Monterey.* IBM’s servers will incorporate Sequent’s NUMA technology.* IBM will provide middleware support for Sequent’s current product line.Founded in 1983, and headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Sequent has more than 2,500 employees worldwide with 56 sales offices in North America, Europe and Asia. The completion of the merger is subject to Sequent stockholder and regulatory approvals.