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By | Joe Fay 19th May 2006 09:42

SAP boss flirts with... nearly everyone

Except for Larry

SAP flashed a bit of thigh today, with one of its co-founders saying the company could just possibly be open to being bought and then detailing his three most likely suitors.

And Oracle ain’t one of ‘em.

SAP chairman Hassno Plattner, who still owns 12 per cent of the company and is the only founder still involved with the firm, told the Financial Times that the company was open to being bought out by one of the US technology giants.

“If shareholders think that a combination, and no independence, is better, then it will happen.”

Plattner drew up a dance card for the firm, consisting of IBM, Microsoft and Google. “I don’t see anyone else,” he told the FT.

Plattner then went all coy, straightening the corporate skirt, crossing his ankles and insisting there were no current talks with anyone.

SAP has already flirted with Microsoft in the past, when Oracle was otherwise engaged sucking up PeopleSoft and anyone else it could get its hands on. The talks came to naught, only due to the "complexity" of the deal and subsequent integration.

On Big Blue, Plattner said, “I do not want to say that I dislike IBM so much that I could not imagine such a scenario at all.” We think that sounds like a definitely maybe.

SAP and Microsoft/IBM both make sense in a corporate, two grown-ups settling down together kind of way.

So far, no-one has caught the venerable German firm making cow eyes at those Google upstarts. Until today, that is.

Google and SAP has a slightly different feel about it. Is it us, or is there something just a little bit Mrs Robinson-ish about the buttoned-up but very, very experienced German veteran getting into bed with the bright young things from Silicon Valley? ®

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