Oracle denies report of $70 billion in planned acquisitions

The vendor is distancing itself from remarks attributed to its co-president, Charles Phillips

Oracle is distancing itself from comments reportedly made by its co-president, Charles Phillips, about the amount of money it intends to spend on future acquisitions.

Phillips said Oracle plans to devote a whopping US$70 billion to buying up companies within the next five years, according to a Fortune.com report on Thursday about an appearance Phillips made at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado.

"It's early in the game, and there's plenty left to do," Phillips said during the appearance, according to Fortune.com's story.

But Oracle issued a "clarification" on Friday of Phillips' reported comments.

"While it is highly unlikely that we will spend anything approaching $70 billion in five years, we will be opportunistic and, if market conditions warrant, we will buy additional companies that further our strategic goals and address our customers' needs," spokeswoman Karen Tillman said in a statement.

A recording of Phillips' appearance was not immediately available; it was unclear Friday whether he in fact referenced the $70 billion figure or five-year time frame.

Fortune.com managing editor Daniel Roth referred IDG News Service to the publication's media relations team, which did not immediately provide comment Friday.

Meanwhile, a US$3.25 billion debt offering Oracle recently made signaled it probably has more acquisitions in mind.

Analysts expect Oracle to go after companies that cater to verticals, such as the sizable health care software vendor Cerner.

Oracle is currently engaged in absorbing its last big acquisition, Sun Microsystems, a purchase that moved it into the hardware business.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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