SAS said to be mulling $20B bid from Broadcom

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Jim Goodnight’s long run at SAS Institute may be nearing an end with The Wall Street Journal reporting people “familiar with the matter” saying San Jose, Calif.-based tech firm Broadcom may buy the business for $15 billion to $20 billion. It would be huge shift for one of most important home-grown North Carolina businesses.

Broadcom had $24 billion in sales last year, mainly semiconductor and infrastructure software products. It has a market value of about $200 billion and has been a serial acquirer of tech companies including CA Technologies in 2018 and Brocade Communication Systems in 2017. Avago Technologies acquired Broadcom in 2016 and switched its name.

SAS did not return a request for comment. Former N.C. State University statistics professors Goodnight and John Sall founded SAS in the 1970s and built it into a global powerhouse in data analytics. Annual sales have hovered in the $3 billion range in recent years as the company faces more competition from enterprise software rivals.

Unlike many tech pioneers, Goodnight, 78,  eschewed a public offering that may have created massive wealth but diluted his ownership. For decades, SAS’ corporate culture has won widespread kudos for the company’s innovative approaches at its Cary headquarters, including a pioneering childcare center. SAS also gets credit for fueling Cary’s rapid growth since the 1980s with Goodnight providing capital for various real estate developments.

Earlier this year, Oliver Schabenberger, who served as both chief technology officer and chief operating officer, left SAS. He was long considered the heir apparent to Jim Goodnight. He later joined San Francisco-based Single Store as chief innovation officer.

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