A consolidation trend underway in the data-storage sector could bring about a marriage of two of Research Triangle Park's biggest employers.
Technology analysts are betting on NetApp as an attractive acquisition target, according to The New York Times. The company has been the subject of takeover speculation for the past two years, The Times says.
NetApp, with a market valuation of nearly $20 billion, has 1,200 employees and contractors in RTP in global technical support, engineering, sales and other functions. Its customer roster includes energy developers, retailers, airlines, government agencies, finance, insurance and special-effects shops in moviemaking that require enormous amounts of data storage.
A likely bidder for NetApp's assets: Cisco Systems. Cisco, the world's largest computer networking designer, lacks a data-storage division and is sitting on $39 billion in cash.
Data storage networks would be a natural extension of Cisco's core business in routers and switches, even as Cisco is expanding into telecommunications technology and consumer products.
Both Cisco and NetApp are based in California. Cisco, which employs more about 4,800 full-timers and contractors in RTP, has never lacked an appetite for acquisitions, having made more than a 100 of them in the company's history.
Another possible bidder for NetApp could be Oracle, according to The New York Times. If Oracle made a move for NetApp, it would give the California computing giant a significant presence in this state.