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Microsoft CEO Says SAP Buyout Is A “˜Random Rumor’

May 12, 2009

Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer on Tuesday dispelled rumors that the software giant could be planning to buy German firm SAP.

“I have nothing to say about rumors of acquisitions … positively or negatively,” Ballmer told reporters in Mumbai.

“It strikes me as a random rumor.”

Also on Monday, SAP’s Co-Chief Executive Leo Apothekar said he believed his firm should remain independent. Rumors of an acquisition by either IBM or Microsoft continue to orbit the business software firm.

SAP has a market value of about $49 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Microsoft sold $3.75 billion in debt in its first bond offering on Monday and Ballmer said he believed the announced layoffs of 5,000 employees over a period of 18 months was largely completed. The layoffs were intended to translate into a savings of $1.5 billion each year.

We are mostly through the process,” said Ballmer.

“Assuming the economy only stays as bad as it is and doesn’t get dramatically worse we will finish our plan, but if it gets dramatically worse again, which I guess is conceivable, we will debate again,” he said, adding that the Redmond, Washington-based software firm was actually hiring employees in some regions, but he would not mention if employee numbers in India would rise.

“These are global additions and it is a little hard to separate our work globally from our work in India.”

Microsoft has about 5,000 employees in India, the largest workforce outside the United States, according to Reuters.

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