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HPE tries selling software unit to Thoma Bravo

by on02 September 2016

Negotiations are under way

The former maker of expensive printer ink HPE is in talks with buyout firm Thoma Bravo to flog its software arm.

HPE thinks it can raise between $8 billion and $10 billion selling off the software business.

HPE Chief Executive Meg Whitman seeks to focus on networking, storage, data centres and related technology services and software was surplus to requirements.

The company is believed to have received offers for the software unit of as much as $7.5 billion in a sale process managed by investment bank Goldman Sachs . So far Thoma Bravo is in the lead having made the highest offer for the assets among the private equity firms that held discussions with HPE. However a deal is still far from being confirmed as there are significant discrepancies in valuation expectations.

Other private equity firms that made offers for the software assets include Vista Equity Partners, Carlyle Group and TPG Capital. It was still possible that HPE would turn to a buyout firm other than Thoma Bravo to pursue a deal, or that Thoma Bravo would buy only some of the assets.

Thoma Bravo owns several software companies, including Dynatrace and Compuware, which could produce cost savings and efficiencies if combined with some of HPE's software assets, the people added.

HPE's software unit generated $3.6 billion in net revenue in 2015, down from $3.9 billion in 2014. But it has been harmed by a market shift toward cloud subscription offerings. The software arm of HP was bought as part of the outfits ill-fated $10.3 billion acquisition of Autonomy in 2011 and the $4.5 billion acquisition of Mercury Interactive in 2006.

On the auction block is Vertica, a big data analytics platform, ArcSight, a cyber security firm as well as products for IT operations management.

Last modified on 02 September 2016
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