Date
21 October 2018
Workers install a GitHub poster on a building. The software developer platform is reportedly being acquired by Microsoft. Photo: Bloomberg
Workers install a GitHub poster on a building. The software developer platform is reportedly being acquired by Microsoft. Photo: Bloomberg

Microsoft said to be acquiring coding site GitHub

Microsoft has agreed to acquire GitHub, a San Francisco-based software developer platform, in a deal that could be worth about US$5 billion or more, reports suggest.

According to Bloomberg News, an announcement is likely as soon as Monday.

The report did not provide the terms of the expected deal, but noted that GitHub was last valued at US$2 billion in 2015. 

A source told Bloomberg that GitHub, a code repository that is popular with software developers, preferred selling the company to going public and chose Microsoft in part because it was impressed with the latter’s CEO, Satya Nadella.

Business Insider first reported talks between the companies on Friday, which neither firm has publicly confirmed.

Citing sources, Business Insider reported that Microsoft and GitHub have had “on-and-off conversations over the years, but talks have grown more serious in the past few weeks.”

According to a CNBC report, the two firms had been considering a joint marketing partnership, and those talks had progressed to a possible investment or outright acquisition.

The price tag for acquiring GitHub is seen at US$5 billion or more.

Many corporations including Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google are said to use GitHub to store their corporate code and to collaborate.

The developer tools platform is said to host 27 million software developers working on 80 million repositories of code, with users using it to keep track of updates and discuss issues.

GitHub told CNBC last fall that it was on track to book more than US$200 million in subscription revenue, including more than US$110 million from companies using its enterprise product.

Microsoft is one of the biggest contributors to GitHub, and has more than 1,000 employees actively pushing code to repositories on GitHub, as Microsoft increasingly opens its arms to open source.

However, GitHub remains in the red, having lost US$66 million over three quarters in 2016 on revenue of US$98 million, according to Bloomberg.

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