Report: Broadcom in talks to acquire analytics firm SAS Institute

The deal would reportedly give SAS an enterprise value between $15 billion and $20 billion

Broadcom is in talks to acquire the privately-held software firm SAS Institute, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal would give SAS an enterprise value between $15 billion and $20 billion, unnamed sources told the Journal. 

Incorporated in 1976, SAS now has customers in 145 countries and more than 12,000 employees. The Cary, NC-based company produces a range of software products spanning analytics, machine learning-based products, data management and more. 

A pricetag in the range of $15 billion to $20 billion could be justified for SAS, Forrester VP and Principal Analyst Mike Gualtieri said, given SAS's penetration within the enterprise and the value of analytics tools.

"At first glance Broadcom seems like an odd and unlikely suitor for an advanced analytics AI company," Gualtieri said in a statement. "However, it would immediately make Broadcom a player in enterprise AI."

Broadcom is primarily a semiconductor company, but it has made a number of key acquisitions to grow its software business in recent years. Its software unit features enterprise mainframe, cybersecurity and automation and monitoring apps. In 2019, Broadcom acquired Symantec's enterprise security portfolio for $10.7 billion. The year prior, it purchased CA Technologies for $18.9 billion. 

Also in 2018, Broadcom gave up its bid for Qualcomm, capping off  months-long showdown with Qualcomm and the US government. President Trump blocked the deal, citing "credible evidence" that a merger could pose a national security threat to the US. Following the failed takeover, Broadcom moved its headquarters from Singapore to San Jose, Calif.