Computer giant IBM is considering an acquisition of data analysis software company Splunk in a deal that could be worth as much as $4bn (£2.5bn).
In a report on newswire Bloomberg, Cowen & Company analyst Peter Goldmacher suggests that IBM is one of a number of potential suitors lining up to acquire the company, with Oracle also in the frame, according to Jams Gilman, an analyst at Drexel Hamilton.
The company's shares have increased by 90 per cent since its initial public offering in April 2012. While the talk of takeover by IBM remains just a market rumour, IBM has public plans to generate as much as $16bn (£9.9bn) in revenues from analytics by 2015 – a target that will require acquisitions to achieve.
However, representatives of both IBM and Splunk declined to comment.
Splunk is one of a slew of "big data" start-ups whose software is intended to help companies analyse and better understand the immense volumes of unstructured data they now generate and store.
Founded in 2004, it focuses on "machine data", data generated by websites, applications, servers, networks, mobile devices, RFID tags and other sensors.
"By monitoring and analysing everything from customer clickstreams and transactions to network activity and call records – and more – Splunk turns machine data into valuable insights no matter what business you're in. It's what we call Operational Intelligence," claims the company.