This morning, Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Compaq announced that the two companies will merge, forming a new $87 billion company that will continue under the HP name. The new HP will rival the size and scope of IBM and will offer customers a complete set of IT products and services for businesses and consumers. HP says that the combined companies will hold the number-one worldwide revenue positions in server sales, PCs and handheld computers, and imaging and printing, as well as leading revenue positions in IT services, storage, and management software. "This is a decisive move that accelerates our strategy and positions us to win by offering even greater value to our customers and partners," said Carly Fiorina, HP's chairman and CEO, who will also lead the new HP. "In addition to the clear strategic benefits of combining two highly complementary organizations and product families, we can create substantial shareowner value through significant cost structure improvements and access to new growth opportunities. At a particularly challenging time for the IT industry, this combination vaults us into a leadership role with customers and partners; together we will shape the industry for years to come." Joining Fiorina is Michael Capellas, Compaq's chairman and CEO, who will assume the role of president for the new company. "We are creating a new kind of industry leader--one founded on customer success, world-class engineering, and best-of-breed products and services," Capellas said. "In sharp contrast to our competitors, we are committed to leading the industry to open, market-unifying architectures and interoperability, which reduce complexity and cost for our customers. With this move, we will change the basis of competition in the industry."
HP will pay Compaq shareholders .63 shares of HP stock for each Compaq stock they own, an 18 percent premium, giving Compaq's side of the merger a value of $25 billion. HP shareholders will own about 64 percent of the new company; Compaq shareholders will control the remaining 36 percent. Assuming the companies receive regulatory approval for the merger, it should be completed in the first half of 2002.
Questions remain, of course, especially concerning key products such as Compaq's best-selling iPAQ handheld computer and other overlapping businesses. For now, HP says that it will organize the company as four key businesses: Imaging and Printing (an HP strength, historically),
Access Devices, IT Infrastructure, and Services. A joint meeting held later today might clear up some of these questions about overlapping products. In the meantime, we're faced with a merger of epic proportions, one that was a surprise to just about everyone in the IT community.
[ 09-05-2001: Message edited by: RaZor ]