Report: EMC, IBM in talks to buy SoftLayer for up to $2 billion

Based on a new report, there could be a bidding war in the process over the cloud and web hosting business, SoftLayer.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Is the rising cloud infrastructure company SoftLayer up for sale? That could be true based on a new report from Reuters on Friday.

See also: SoftLayer intros global cloud storage option for big data

Citing at least three anonymous sources "close to the matter," the news service is reporting that at least tech heavyweights EMC and IBM are both already involved in talks to acquire the private Dallas-based business.

And a bidding war could become a possibility as the deal is expected to surpass approximately $2 billion. Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse were noted as having been enlisted to run the sale process.

Apparently another bigwig was involved too:

SoftLayer's sale process was initially spurred by one of its customers, AT&T Inc, which approached the company in recent months seeking exclusive talks, one of the sources said. AT&T is no longer involved in the process, two of the sources said.

For reference, SoftLayer's web hosting service consists of a global private network with 13 datacenters and 16 network points-of-presence scattered across the United States, Asia, and Europe.

Describing itself as the largest privately held Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider worldwide, SoftLayer manages 100,000 servers and has a subscriber base of 25,000 businesses ranging from the startup to the global enterprise level.

SoftLayer's cloud infrastructure can be deployed and billed either on-demand, billed hour-to-hour or month-to-month, further touting the simplicity of "one portal; one API."

None of the parties involved have revealed anything publicly yet.

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