IBM eye web hosting company SoftLayer – 03/15/2013

International Business Machines Corp and EMC Corp are among parties in talks to buy privately held database web hosting company SoftLayer Technologies Inc, in a deal that could fetch over $2 billion, three sources close to the matter said.

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The IT infrastructure specialist, founded in 2005, has become the world’s largest privately held website hosting service. The company provides its 25,000 customers with cloud infrastructure mainly for small and medium-sized businesses.

Spokespeople for SoftLayer, AT&T, EMC, IBM, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse declined to comment.

Over the last few years, web hosting companies, including Rackspace Hosting Inc, have been considered attractive takeover candidates as technology and telecom companies look to improve the performance and cost efficiencies of their enterprise cloud computing services.