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HP confirms Aruba acquisition

Wireless specialist to be bought out in $3bn cash deal

Whitman: Enterprises are facing a mobile-first world
Whitman: Enterprises are facing a mobile-first world

HP has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Aruba Networks for an equity value of $3bn, the two companies announced today.

According to a statement released by the two companies, the Aruba brand will endure, and the new combined organisation under HP will still be led by Dominic Orr, the current CEO of Aruba. Keerti Melkote, Aruba’s chief strategy and technology officer, will also remain on board, with both reporting to Antonio Neri, leader of the HP Enterprise Group.

HP said that the move would help it to capitalise on the fact that organisations are shifting to mobility-centric workplaces for their employees, guests, customers and students. With Aruba established as a leading player in the wireless networking domain, HP said it wanted to deliver next-generation converged campus solutions.

“Enterprises are facing a mobile-first world and are looking for solutions that help them transition legacy investments to the new style of IT,” said Meg Whitman, CEO of HP.

“By combining Aruba’s world-class wireless mobility solutions with HP’s leading switching portfolio, HP will offer the simplest, most secure networking solutions to help enterprises easily deploy next-generation mobile networks.”

The acquisition fills a hole in HP's enterprise offerings, which until now have lacked any serious wireless-based solutions.

Aruba’s Orr said that the deal provided a “tremendous” opportunity for Aruba to become a greater force in enterprise mobility and networking. He said that the transaction will bring together Aruba’s mobility hardware and software solutions with HP’s “leading” switching portfolio.

“In addition, Aruba’s channel partners will have the opportunity to expand their businesses with HP offerings. Together, we will build on Aruba’s proven ‘customer first, customer last’ culture, creating an innovative, agile networking leader ideally positioned to solve our customers’ most pressing mobility, security and networking challenges,” he explained.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of HP’s fiscal year 2015, subject to Aruba stockholder approval, regulatory approvals in the US and other countries as well as other customary closing conditions. The deal will be paid for in cash, at $24.67 per share.

Aruba had revenues of $729m in fiscal year 2014, and has reported compound annual growth rates of 30% over the past five years.

News of the buyout leaked last week, though it was unclear when the two companies would confirm the acquisition.