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HP made a bid today to boost its IT services operations in Europe by acquiring UK outfit Synstar.

HP has offered up $300m in cash for Synstar, which is close to a 28 percent premium on the firm's Friday close of 78.25 pence share price on the London Stock Exchange. Synstar's shares jumped as much as 27 percent to 99.50 pence since the HP bid was announced.

HP is looking to pick up Synstar's 1,500 customers throughout Europe. The company has offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. It offers networking, data management, maintenance and business continuity services. Some of Synstar's customers include Audi, British Gas International, Allied Irish Bank and DuPont.

HP has been making a number of acquisitions over the past two years on both the services and software fronts.

Merrill Lynch has made the offer for Synstar on behalf of HP Global Investments BV - a subsidiary of HP. ®

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