Microsoft is said to be in serious talks about a possible acquisition of GitHub, the largest source-code repository in the world. A report by Business Insider suggests the Redmond giant has been in talks regarding a buyout for years now but that the discussions have heated up recently, possibly owing to the impending departure of GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath.
The San Francisco-based web-hosting service for software development was last valued at $2 billion as a result of a $250 million round of funding back in 2015. The suggested buying price for Microsoft may be an even higher $5 billion, marking it as one of the top five acquisitions by Microsoft in all time.
Microsoft may be seen as an unusual bidder for the home of some of the most popular open-source development in the world but the company's relationship with the open-source community has changed tremendously over the last few years, and especially under the tenure of Satya Nadella. The company joined the Open Source Initiative as a full member late last year and has also open-sourced various components of Windows itself, alongside many other gestures of goodwill.
An acquisition is not a done deal, yet, as the report discusses past talks with Google executive Sridhar Ramaswamy to take over Wanstrath's job as CEO. While those talks may have died down, the possible inclusion of Ramaswamy to the company's board may curb Microsoft's prospects for a buyout. Another possibility raised was a Microsoft-backed investment into the company, possibly with a Microsoft exec taking over the CEO position at GitHub, instead of an outright buyout.
Both Microsoft and GitHub have refrained from making a statement on the story, suggesting they don't comment on rumours and speculation.