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Photo: Alvin Chan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

IBM announced Sunday it would acquire Linux specialist Red Hat in a deal valued at $34 billion in cash and debt. That works out to $190 per share, a hefty premium to where the software maker has been trading, and the largest software acquisition of all-time.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Kim Hart: IBM has been shifting for years away from mainframes and servers to selling software and services that bring recurring revenue. Red Hat, which charges corporate clients for custom-built Linux offerings, fits into that strategy.

The move comes as others are also doubling down on Linux, including longtime rival Microsoft which just completed its $7.5 billion GitHub purchase and recently joined an effort that helps protect open source by sharing patent rights.

The details:

  • The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019
  • Red Hat will become a standalone unit in IBM's cloud unit and keep its existing leaders and location.
  • IBM said it should add to free cash flow and profit margins within 12 months

What they're saying:

  • N.Y. Times tech reporter Steve Lohr: "IBM makes a big move to attract software developers and position itself as the "Switzerland" of the cloud world."
  • Tech journalist Simon Le Gros Bisson: "The only upside I can see to an IBM/RHAT deal is if IBM lets Red Hat run it like a reverse takeover. Otherwise it's going to be "How many Global Services consultants do you want with that OpenShift install?""
  • Red Hat engineer Dan Sneddon: "I’m having trouble picking my jaw up off the floor. This probably won’t be a bad thing in the long run, but calling this a surprise is an understatement."

Go deeper

Former Sen. David Perdue to launch bid for Georgia governor

Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

Former Senator David Perdue (R) plans to announce a campaign against Georgia's incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp Monday, according to a source familiar with Perdue's thinking.

Why it matters: Perdue's challenge to his former ally Kemp sets up an unprecedented "scorched earth" battle between Georgia Republicans fueled by former President Donald Trump, in the battleground state. The news was first reported by Politico.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.

Former Sen. Bob Dole dies

Former Sen. Bob Dole in 2019. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole passed away Sunday morning at the age of 98, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation announced in a statement.

Driving the news: Dole, a revered figure in U.S. politics and the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, served in the Senate for 27 years, including 11 years as GOP leader. Earlier this year he revealed he had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.