For Communities, IBM + Red Hat Means Stronger Commitment

The news that IBM has signed an agreement to acquire Red Hat made an impact throughout the business world Sunday, leaving many to speculate what the future will bring for Red Hat. Specifically, some are wondering what this acquisition will mean for the many upstream projects in which Red Hat participates and sponsors.

Our CEO Jim Whitehurst imparted a strong sense of direction for Red Hat as it starts on this new journey, with a comment that directly relates to upstream communities: “Our unwavering commitment to open source innovation remains unchanged. The independence IBM has committed to will allow Red Hat to continue building the broad ecosystem that enables customer choice and has been integral to open source’s success in the enterprise. IBM is acquiring Red Hat for our amazing people and our incredibly special culture and approach to making better software.”

The press release announcing the acquisition also states that “[w]ith this acquisition, IBM will remain committed to Red Hat’s open governance, open source contributions, participation in the open source community and development model, and fostering its widespread developer ecosystem. In addition, IBM and Red Hat will remain committed to the continued freedom of open source, via such efforts as Patent Promise, GPL Cooperation Commitment, the Open Invention Network and the LOT Network.”

Red Hat doesn’t only talk about the ideas of open source and community, we put them into practice. Along with our community-leadership partners in other projects around the company, we always seek to put community first.

Red Hat’s commitment to community isn’t going to change. If anything, now it has an opportunity to get even stronger. With the resources and talents within IBM, the impact we can make for open source projects and their communities should grow.

Jim, like many of us in Red Hat, recognizes that what makes Red Hat amazing is not only the software we help create, but rather the commitment to service we have for our customers balanced with our dedication to work with open source communities.

It’s an interesting word: commitment. Commitment is a part of relationships, and Red Hat is a company of relationships, something we have seen time and again when we visit projects and offices in every corner of the globe. Those relationships are why we believe in open source and why open source believes in us.

Perceived change can be hard. We get that. But Red Hat is not all alone here. Just as communities rely on us, we rely as much on communities. We have always been a part of something larger, something exciting. The news this week doesn’t change that a bit.

Once the transaction closes, the open source community will get bigger, not smaller. And we are ready to get back to work with all of the free and open source projects that are the building blocks of Red Hat. They are our DNA.

Important Additional Information and Where to Find It

In connection with the proposed merger, Red Hat, Inc. (the “Company”) intends to file relevant materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including a preliminary proxy statement on Schedule 14A. Following the filing of the definitive proxy statement with the SEC, the Company will mail the definitive proxy statement and a proxy card to each stockholder entitled to vote at the special meeting relating to the proposed merger. STOCKHOLDERS ARE URGED TO CAREFULLY READ THESE MATERIALS IN THEIR ENTIRETY (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT THE COMPANY WILL FILE WITH THE SEC WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. The proxy statement and other relevant materials (when available), and any and all documents filed by the Company with the SEC, may be obtained for free at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. In addition, stockholders may obtain free copies of the documents filed with the SEC by the Company via the Company’s Investor Relations section of its website at www.redhat.com or by contacting Investor Relations by directing a request to the Company, Attention: Investor Relations, 100 East Davie Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601, or by calling (919) 754-3700.

Participants in the Merger Solicitation

This document does not constitute a solicitation of proxy, an offer to purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell any securities, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The Company, its directors, executive officers and certain employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of the Company in connection with the proposed merger. Information about the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be considered to be participants in the solicitation of the Company’s stockholders in connection with the proposed merger, and any interest they have in the proposed merger, will be set forth in the definitive proxy statement when it is filed with the SEC. Additional information regarding these individuals is set forth in the Company’s proxy statement for its 2018 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on June 25, 2018, and its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018, which was filed with the SEC on April 26, 2018. These documents may be obtained for free at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, and via the Company’s Investor Relations section of its website at www.redhat.com.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This document may include “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, statements relating to the completion of the merger. In this context, forward-looking statements often address expected future business and financial performance and financial condition, and often contain words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “seek,” “see,” “will,” “would,” “target,” similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words. Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain, such as statements about the consummation of the proposed merger and the anticipated benefits thereof. These and other forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements, including the failure to consummate the proposed merger or to make any filing or take other action required to consummate such merger in a timely matter or at all. The inclusion of such statements should not be regarded as a representation that any plans, estimates or expectations will be achieved. You should not place undue reliance on such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from such plans, estimates or expectations include, among others, that: (1) the Company may be unable to obtain stockholder approval as required for the merger; (2) conditions to the closing of the merger, including obtaining required regulatory approvals, may not be satisfied or waived on a timely basis or otherwise; (3) a governmental entity or a regulatory body may prohibit, delay or refuse to grant approval for the consummation of the merger and may require conditions, limitations or restrictions in connection with such approvals that can adversely affect the anticipated benefits of the proposed merger or cause the parties to abandon the proposed merger; (4) the merger may involve unexpected costs, liabilities or delays; (5) the business of the Company may suffer as a result of uncertainty surrounding the merger or the potential adverse changes to business relationships resulting from the proposed merger; (6) legal proceedings may be initiated related to the merger and the outcome of any legal proceedings related to the merger may be adverse to the Company; (7) the Company may be adversely affected by other general industry, economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (8) there may be unforeseen events, changes or other circumstances that could give rise to the termination of the merger agreement or affect the ability to recognize benefits of the merger; (9) risks that the proposed merger may disrupt current plans and operations and present potential difficulties in employee retention as a result of the merger; (10) risks related to diverting management’s attention from the Company’s ongoing business operations; (11) there may be other risks to consummation of the merger, including the risk that the merger will not be consummated within the expected time period or at all which may affect the Company’s business and the price of the common stock of the Company; and (12) the risks described from time to time in the Company’s reports filed with the SEC under the heading “Risk Factors,” including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2018, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K and in other of the Company’s filings with the SEC. Such risks include, without limitation: the effects of competition in the businesses in which the Company operates; the Company’s ability to adapt to a rapidly changing industry and maintain strategic relationships with industry leading companies; and the impacts of security breaches and data loss and our vulnerability to technology infrastructure failures. Consequences of material differences in results as compared with those anticipated in the forward-looking statements could include, among other things, business disruption, operational problems, financial loss, legal liability to third parties and similar risks, any of which could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, credit rating or liquidity. These risks, as well as other risks associated with the proposed merger, will be more fully discussed in the proxy statement that will be filed with the SEC in connection with the proposed merger. There can be no assurance that the merger will be completed, or if it is completed, that it will close within the anticipated time period or that the expected benefits of the merger will be realized. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which such statements were made. Except as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after such date.

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About Brian Proffitt

Brian Proffitt is the Principal Community Analyst for Open Source and Standards team at Red Hat, responsible for community content, onboarding, and open source consulting. A former technology journalist, Brian is also a graduate lecturer at the University of Notre Dame. Follow him on Twitter @TheTechScribe

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