HPE Software and Micro Focus complete $8.8b spin-merger

The newly merged company claims to be the seventh-largest 'pure-play' enterprise software vendor in the world.

Enterprise software vendor Micro Focus has announced that the $8.8 billion spin-off and merger of Hewlett Packard Enterprise's (HPE) software business has now been completed.

"With the completion of this transaction, HPE has achieved a major milestone in becoming a stronger, more focused company, purpose built to compete and win in today's market," Meg Whitman, HPE CEO, said in a statement.

"This transaction will deliver approximately $8.8 billion to HPE and its stockholders."

UK-based Micro Focus claims it is now the seventh-largest "pure-play" software vendor in the world based on market capitalisation, with annual revenue of $4.4 billion.

Chris Hsu, formerly COO of HPE and executive vice president and general manager of HPE Software, has been appointed CEO of Micro Focus.

"We are bringing together a powerful combination of technology and talent uniquely positioned to drive customer-centred innovation at enterprise scale -- enabling organisations to maximise the ROI of existing software investments while embracing the new hybrid model for enterprise IT," Hsu said in a statement.

HPE, as an organisation, does not have ownership over the newly combined business, though its shareholders now own 50.1 percent of Micro Focus on a fully diluted basis. This equity stake is valued at approximately $6.3 billion, based on the closing price of Micro Focus ordinary shares on the London Stock Exchange on August 31, 2017.

Founded in the 1970s, Micro Focus has a multibillion-dollar portfolio of software with four areas of focus: DevOps, hybrid IT, security and risk management, and predictive analytics.

"Our business strategy remains sound: Bringing together software assets that deliver a high degree of value to our investors and an expansive solution portfolio to our customers so they can maximise the value of existing IT investments and adopt new technologies -- essentially bridging the old and new," Micro Focus' executive chairman Kevin Loosemore said in a statement.

Other software franchises Micro Focus owns include Attachmate, SUSE Linux, Borland, COBOL, NetIQ, Novell, Progress, and Serena.

HPE had confirmed rumours in September last year that it was looking to sell its "non-core" software assets to the London Stock Exchange-listed company so that it could realign its portfolio around networking, storage, and datacentres.

In April, HPE then completed the spin-off merger between its Enterprise Services business and Computer Sciences Corp, officially creating DXC Technology. The deal delivered about $13.5 billion to HPE after tax.

Hewlett Packard split its business into two publicly traded companies in November 2015, with HP Inc selling PCs and printers, and HPE focused on servers and enterprise services.

The technology giant announced its plan to split in October 2014, with Whitman saying at the time that the divestiture would give each company more independence, focus, financial resources, and flexibility.