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HP finally swallows Autonomy

Looks a bit queasy, starts doing little eggy burps

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HP has finally concluded the $10.24bn acquisition of Cambridge-based enterprise search and BI software firm Autonomy.

The £25.50-per-share offer was given the green light by 87 per cent of Autonomy's shareholders last night - a whopping 79 per cent premium on the stock price on 18 August when HP first lodged the bid.

Reaching this stage has not been plain sailing for HP: it was forced to extend the deal's deadline after Autonomy shareholders dragged their feet on the tie up even though a better offer was unthinkable.

Then CEO Leo Apotheker - who backed the bid for Autonomy as part of his vision to transform HP into an enterprise service and software firm - tendered his resignation after the public cock-up over HP's PC biz, WebOS and the Autonomy buy price.

Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch - who got involved in a spat with Oracle boss Larry Ellison recently - will lead HP's expanded software biz unit.

“We are at the dawn of a new era when it is the ‘I’ in IT that is changing, not just the ‘T'," said Lynch in a statement.

HP CEO Meg Whitman, who is still working out the fate of the Personal Systems Group, said gobbling Autonomy will help HP tackle the big data conundrum.

“The exploding growth of unstructured and structured data and unlocking its value is the single largest opportunity for consumers, businesses and governments,” she said. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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