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The offer from chipmaker Broadcom could value SAS in the range of $15 billion to $20 billion.

Broadcom is in talks to acquire business analytics giant SAS Institute, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The purchase could be worth between $15 billion to $20 billion and a deal could come in the next few weeks, according to the report.

Broadcom’s buying spree

Buying SAS would just be the latest in a series of major acquisitions by Broadcom. The semiconductor manufacturer has in recent years become a supplier of IT hardware and software infrastructure technology. For example, Broadcom acquired infrastructure software vendor CA Technologies in November 2018 for $18.9 billion. They then bought cybersecurity software developer Symantec Enterprise in November 2019 for $10.7 billion.

SAS is a closely held private company. It is one of the IT industries’ biggest developers of business analytics, AI and data management software.

SAS (SAS stands for Statistical Analysis System) grew out a data analysis software project at North Carolina State University. That’s where the company’s founders, including current CEO James Goodnight, were professors and students.

From humble beginnings to a $3bn a year business

The company launched in 1976 and has since developed a broad service offering in data analytics and data management. Their flagship product is SAS Viya visual analytics software, but they have other products as well. These include data integration and governance tools and Internet of Things analytics software.

They also make business analytics applications for specific industries and tasks. One industry specific area is fraud detection and risk assessment in financial services.

The SAS annual report issued earlier this year showed that the company’s revenue in 2020 was $3 billion. They currently have 12,545 employees, with about 5,200 at its Cary headquarters. A spokesperson from SAS declined to comment on the WSJ report and Broadcom is so far refusing to comment.

Also read: SAS shapes the future of analytics in the cloud