Oracle is reportedly returning to its traditional acquisition roots, and is in talks to acquire Missouri-based Cerner.

Cerner is a supplier of health IT services, and is best known as an electronic medical records provider in the United States.

According to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, Oracle is in talks to buy Cerner.

If true, the acquisition may be the largest ever purchase by Oracle, as the WSJ reported the deal is thought to be worth a staggering $30 billion.

Cerner deal

The acquisition of Cerner would of course provide Oracle with a valuable cache of healthcare data which it could use to train and improve its artificial intelligence-based cloud services.

This is in turn would of course bolster Oracle’s credentials in the lucrative US healthcare sector.

According to the WSJ, if the deal materialises, it will be the biggest ever deal for Oracle, which has a market value of more than $280 billion.

Indeed, the Oracle-Cerner deal could become one of the largest takeovers of 2021.

Cerner is the largest seller of electronic health record software in the United States after Epic Systems.

In 2019, it had named Amazon Web Services as its preferred cloud provider and said the two companies were collaborating on AI services for health companies.

When Alphabet disbanded its unified Google Health division in August this year, the head of Google Health, David Feinberg, left the division and joined Cerner as CEO and President.

Oracle acquisitions

It is fair to say that Texas-based Oracle has a reputation as being a highly acquisitive company.

It is said to have acquired over 125 companies since it was founded in 1977.

Some of its most expensive purchases are listed below.

Oracle has previously acquired Peoplesoft for $10.3 billion in 2005; Siebel Systems for $5.8bn in 2006; Hyperion Corp for $3.3bn in 2007; BEA Systems for $8.5bn in 2008; Sun Microsystems for $7.4bn in 2009; Micros Systems for $5.3bn in 2014; and NetSuite for $9.3bn in 2016, to name but a few.

And it should be noted that Oracle last week posted a net loss of $1.25bn, compared to a profit of $2.44bn in the same year ago quarter.

Acquisitions tend to help improve the buyer’s financial performance.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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