HP buys Autonomy for £7bn, kills webOS devices and looks to spin off PC unit

Summary:All change as HP goes all-in on enterprise...

All change as HP goes all-in on enterprise...

HP has decided to go big on its enterprise software and services play, shedding its PC unit, killing off its webOS devices and making a multibillion pound offer for Autonomy.

HP webOS

HP has announced that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, such as the HP TouchPadPhoto: HP

HP announced its intention to buy Autonomy on Thursday for a price of £25.50 a share, or around £7bn.

Autonomy, founded in 1996 by its current CEO Mike Lynch and which lists the likes of Coca-Cola, Nestle and Standard Life as customers, has recommended its shareholders should accept the offer and the deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

According to HP, the acquisition will boost its cloud offerings and "strengthen capabilities for data analytics, the cloud, industry capabilities and workflow management", as well as add valuable IP in vertical markets such as healthcare. It will, according to HP, also support its traditional printing business by "continu[ing HP's] growth of document and content management and higher value commercial printing opportunities".

Lynch will continue to head Autonomy and report to HP's CEO Léo Apotheker, with the business still run separately, Apotheker said.

"This is a milestone moment because there is a very real and concrete need for our customers to address the explosion of structured and unstructured information... Autonomy sees the business information transformation and subsequent market opportunity exactly as we do. Moreover, Autonomy's business is well aligned to HP's effort to change and focus our business mix," he said yesterday.

Meanwhile, HP is looking at the future of its personal computing business, announcing a possible spin-off of its consumer PC unit and shutting down its webOS hardware business.

HP is currently exploring its options for the personal systems business - a process expected to take 12 to 18 months - "including the exploration of the separation of its PC business into a separate company through a spin-off or other transaction", HP said.

The company has also decided to kill off its webOS device unit, whose most recent offerings included the TouchPad tablet.

"Consumers are changing the use of the PC. The tablet effect is real and...

Topics: Developer


Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including silicon.com, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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