Please stop with the IPO delusion. That's all it is, a delusion. Most likely, GN was getting flak from all his worried 'dependents', related or not. "What happens to us when the inevitable happens, daddy?"
Tired of the flak, he came up with the IPO nonsense to run the clock and get them off his back. See the concept of 'future-faking', where someone tells you what you want to hear to get you off your back, but they never follow through. "Oh yeah, I'll do XYZ next week." Next week comes and goes, and XYZ hasn't been completed. GN isn't some god, contrary to what he may have lead others to believe. This IPO charade is simply 'theater' to cover up for a failing business.
GN had plenty of opportunities to sell the company decades ago when it was still worth something. Other technologies have bridged that gap, and now the intellectual property value is approaching zero. There is no 'magic formula' when it comes to Statistics and machine learning. The world is doing research, thriving, and moving forward in other technologies that are not SAS.
Long ago, SAS once had some great intellectual property. But now, common people, such as myself, can program similar functions in Python for free. Python takes a little bit of time to learn, but it's not hard. New Python libraries and statistical functions are being updated and released continually - for free. Why would other companies continue to pay SAS subscription fees when they can get the same functionality in Python? You don't even need R any longer.
Please stop with this magical thinking that SAS has some coherent plan and strategy and is infallible. Perhaps it was for some time, but that's no longer the case. Snap out of it, people; break the spell.