The list of companies acquired by out-of-state buyers doesn’t even begin to describe it. When
iconic Washington institutions—Safeco, Washington Mutual, the Sonics—have been
gobbled up in the past few years by out-of-state owners, the prospect of more
years of slow growth means that we can only expect things to escalate as
struggling companies opt for a handy lifeboat, destination anywhere, instead of
going down with the ship.
And it might not be just struggling companies, although
they’ll be first in line. Already as this issue of Seattle Business magazine goes to print, acquisition talks are
swirling around Isilon Systems, with a reported $2.25 billion buyout from
Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC in the works (UPDATE: It's done), as well as F5 Networks, which has
drawn the attention of several high tech-power players.
Should we consider the unthinkable, that a certain large
cash-rich software company that’s seen a steady exodus of key talent recently
might also be on the lookout for someone to, at least, take some of its more
beleaguered consumer divisions off its hands?