October 1, 2014

Red Hat to acquire mobile platform provider FeedHenry for $81.8 million

In accordance with the recent technology merger trend in which companies acquire others in order to expand their cloud-based offerings, Raleigh-based open-source software provider Red Hat, Inc. has announced its intention to acquire FeedHenry, a self-described "leading enterprise mobile application platform provider," for $81.8 million. According to The Wall Street Journal, the acquisition deal is expected to close within the current quarter.

Red Hat, which was founded in 1993, is famous for its open-source software Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but is looking to shift its attention "from client-server to cloud-mobile," according to CEO Jim Whitehurst. In a recent blog post, he called this shift in focus "a once-every-twenty-years kind of change." The change he describes involves setting the company's sights on becoming the industry standard in providing enterprise cloud infrastructure. Whitehurst's intention is for Red Hat to continue putting resources into improving their OpenStack, OpenShift and CloudForms capabilities.

In a September 18 press release, FeedHenry stated that the acquisition would align with that goal by expanding Red Hat's "portfolio of application development, integration, and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions, enabling Red Hat to support mobile application development in public and private environments."

TechRepublic columnist Matt Asay singled out Canonical's Ubuntu as Red Hat's main competitor in cloud computing. Ubuntu, Asay reports, dominates 54 percent of operating system adoptions on Amazon Web Services. Still, Whitehurst believes Red Hat's Linux is the best operating system out there, citing the fact that 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use the operating system as proof.

Buying FeedHenry is clearly part of a larger acquisition strategy for Red Hat. Asay advised in his column that "Red Hat needs to keep hold of its best people…and add to its army." With its recent acquisition of Eucalyptus and now its intention to acquire FeedHenry, that may be exactly what Whitehurst aims to do.