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Lotus / IBM Anniversary

I realized today that an anniversary had passed last month without notice. Ten years and one month ago (June 6, 1995) IBM made a cash tender offer to purchase Lotus Development Corp. at a price of $60 per common share — the day before Lotus stock was trading at $32 per share. A week later the offer was upped to $64 per share. The total value of the transaction was about $3.5 billion.

I worked at Lotus at the time and remember that we were pretty stunned by the news. IBM had done its homework; there was no way for Lotus to resist the offer. The deal was accepted and Lotus became a division of IBM. Overall, it was probably the best outcome for Lotus. The growth of Notes/Domino sales in the years after the acquisition was phenomenal.

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