HP last night confirmed that it planned to acquire Autonomy, an information management software firm based in the United Kingdom. The company utilizes a combination of technologies borne out of research at Cambridge University for its development of a variety of enterprise search and knowledge management applications. If all goes according to plan, it will soon become HP's latest acquisition.
Speaking during a quarterly results conference call, HP President and CEO Léo Apotheker said that the company hopes the acquisition of Autonomy will help "accelerate" HP's enterprise software business. The deal, expected to close by the end of this year, is worth $10.3 billion, which equals $42.11 per share for Autonomy. According to PC World, Autonomy and it's 2,700 employees will operate as a business unit within HP and will continue under the leadership of current CEO Mike Lynch.
The news comes at the same time as HP's announcement that it's axing its TouchPad and Pre lines of tablets and smartphones. The company acquired the Pre line and WebOS when it bought Palm last year. HP paid $1.2 billion for the company during former boss Mark Hurd's reign as CEO. At the time, Hurd caused quite a stir when he said he "didn't buy Palm to be in the smartphone business." Just a day later, Hurd went back on his initial statement and insisted that smartphones are part of the company's WebOS plan.
"When we look at the market, we see an array of interconnected devices, including tablets, printers, and of course, smartphones," he said. "We believe webOS can become the backbone for many of HP's small form factor devices, and we expect to expand webOS's footprint beyond just the smartphone market, all while leveraging our financial strength, scale, and global reach to grow in smartphones."
So much for that.