HP has been tipped as a potential bidder for Rackspace after the cloud firm hinted it might put itself up for sale.
Rackspace announced in an SEC filing last week that after having been approached by a number of firms which "expressed interest in exploring a strategic relationship" with the company, it has appointed Morgan Stanley help it work out a plan of attack for the future.
Competition in the public cloud space has been hotting up in recent months with Amazon, Microsoft and Google slashing prices to stay ahead of the game.
Analyst TechMarketView said a sale or merger for Rackspace would be a handy way to sidestep the battle.
"We believe Rackspace is absolutely doing the right thing in considering a sale – if indeed it has a choice at all," said research director Kate Hanaghan.
"Rackspace will undoubtedly have been independently considering its future direction in light of the position in which it finds itself. Rackspace cannot – and indeed, does not want to – compete with the so-called hyperscale public cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft and partake in their price wars."
Hanaghan added that if Rackspace put up a for sale sign, HP could be among the first to come knocking.
"Rackspace says it is going to consider a range of options, including partnering and acquisition," she said.
"In terms of the latter, it is likely to be attractive to a larger player that is looking to build out its public cloud offerings. That type of player could be of IT services heritage – could HP follow IBM and acquire in public cloud?"
In the filing, Rackspace insisted that nothing was final yet regarding its future.
"No decision has been made and there can be no assurance that the board's review process will result in any partnership or transaction being entered into or consummated," it said in the filing.
"The company has not set a timetable for completion of this process and does not intend to discuss or disclose further developments with respect to this process unless and until the board approves a specific partnership or transaction."
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