Feeds

Hey HP: You may not rate Autonomy, EDS, but buyers do

VCs are circling, true, but so are tech firms - reports

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Potential buyers are probing Hewlett-Packard over EDS and Autonomy, according to reports.

Bloomberg reports that HP has received an “increase in enquiries” following a recent regulatory filing saying it would dispose of businesses that don’t meet goals.

The Wall St Journal says overtures have come mainly from other US tech companies or their representatives.

According to Reuters, HP regularly gets touched up by bankers, representatives from private equity and technology companies but enquiries have increased since it emerged Dell’s in talks with Silver Lake about a possible $15bn buyout.

HP in its 10-K filing said it was evaluating the potential disposition of assets and businesses that “may no longer help us meet our objectives".

EDS and Autonomy are prime targets for buyers, both being outside HP’s core PC, server and printer business and both coming into the company through departed CEOs, the result of wild strategy swings, and at great cost. EDS was bought for $13.9bn in 2008 by Mark Hurd to turn HP into a services company but four years later HP wrote $8bn off of the deal. Under Hurd's replacement, Leo Apotheker, software was the new future. The firm went on to spend $11.7bn on UK enterprise search specialist Autonomy in 2011 but that deal was also written down - also to the tune of $8bn.

In November, HP accused Autonomy of accounting impropriety and of misrepresenting its value during the purchase, and referred the matter to UK and US regulators. Autonomy’s founder and former CEO Mike Lynch - aka: "the British Bill Gates" - has denied any wrongdoing.

HP is in the midst of a corporate turnaround and restructuring under current chief executive Meg Whitman - who has said that she doesn’t expect it to pay off until 2016.

Announcing the strategy and justifying the long turnaround time, Whitman said: “My belief is that the single biggest challenge facing HP has been changes in CEOs and executive leadership, which has caused multiple inconsistent strategic choices and frankly some significant executional miscues.”

Whitman appeared to be referring to Autonomy, EDS and their CEO sponsors. Autonomy and EDS are prime candidates for sale to either private equity or another tech company - either one within the sector which is looking for expertise or customers or trying to break in.

That said, it’s not like the PC business is a particularly healthy segment for HP to remain in - at least without any major changes. Global sales are falling and during HP’s most recently reported quarter, revenue for the Personal Systems Group (PSG) fell 14 per cent year on year; the unit's business and consumer sales were down 13 per cent and 16 per cent respectively.

On Tuesday, Gartner reported that although HP was seated at the top of the PC heap - it has become a dwindling one. Also, PC-makers' last hope, Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, resolutely failed to reignite sales during the fourth quarter covering Christmas, the analyst explained. According to Gartner, Microsoft's brand-new operating system: "Did not have a significant impact on PC shipments in the fourth quarter." ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.