Automattic Doesn’t Sell Out For $200 Million

    October 30, 2007

People who are trying to sell a house might make all sorts of small upgrades as they attempt to offload the property.  And Automattic made the “small upgrade” of acquiring Gravatar just two weeks ago.  Automattic’s owners apparently aren’t looking to sell, though – a report indicates that they turned down a $200 million acquisition offer.

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In real world terms, this would be a fairly stunning decision – 5.0 percent simple interest on $200 million would generate $10 million per year, and everyone could live happily ever after without touching the original cash.  But in an eBusiness sense, a refusal of $200 million might not be so crazy; Mark Zuckerberg seems to be doing just fine after turning down much larger amounts.

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So where does this leave Automattic, which is the company behind WordPress?  It’s hard to say.  Michael Arrington, who broke the story, did not identify the potential buyer, and no one from Automattic has stepped forward to explain its decision.  Automattic may be holding out for more money from other parties, or counting on its own technology to make $200 million look like a paltry sum.

Fans of Automattic and WordPress feel this was the right decision, though.  Arrington’s article has 42 comments at the moment, and many of them include words like “great,” “rocks,” and “awesome.”