Opsware buy positions HP to lead high-growth data center automation market

Hewlett-Packard (HP) signed a definitive agreement to purchase Opsware, a data center automation software company, enhancing HP's portfolio of business technology optimization (BTO) software.

By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff July 24, 2007

Hewlett-Packard (HP) signed a definitive agreement to purchase Opsware , a data center automation software company, enhancing HP’s portfolio of business technology optimization (BTO) software.

The acquisition of Opsware is intended to extend HP Software’s capabilities to automate the entire data center—from initial provisioning of servers, networks and storage devices to managing ongoing changes and compliance requirements—with integrated process automation, removing the latency inherent in today’s IT environments.

HP also reported an agreement to buy Neoware for (U.S.) $325.2 million cash. Neoware is a supplier of thin client computing solutions that allow organizations to cut costs by centralizing desktop management, alleviating threats of security breaches and reducing energy consumption.

Opsware and Neoware are latest in a series of strategic software acquisitions, including Mercury Interactive and Peregrine Systems, which expands HP’s leadership in BTO.

“The acquisition of Opsware is intended to enable HP Software to help our customers resolve one of their critical pain points: controlling the increasing complexity and cost of managing the data center,” said Thomas E. Hogan, senior vice president, Software, HP. “We expect Opsware’s outstanding team will help us drive leadership across our BTO offerings.”
Opsware Chief Executive Officer Ben Horowitz said, “We are about to see one of the biggest application and infrastructure build-outs in history.

The addition of Opsware to the HP Software portfolio will make HP the obvious choice for powering the next generation of data centers to come.”

“Following last year’s acquisition of Mercury Interactive, the addition of Opsware is expected to enhance HP’s standing as one of the world’s leading software companies and drive profitable growth for HP,” said Ann Livermore, executive vice president, Technology Solutions Group, HP.

“With this strategic acquisition, I believe customers will see HP as the clear vendor of choice to help them transform how they manage and automate IT to drive better business outcomes.”

Following the close of the transaction, Opsware will become part of the HP Software business. At that time, HP also expects to appoint Ben Horowitz to lead the Business Technology Optimization organization reporting to Thomas E. Hogan, senior vice president, HP Software.

The acquisition will be conducted by means of a tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Opsware, followed by a merger of Opsware with an HP subsidiary. The tender offer is subject to a number of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close before the end of HP’s fourth fiscal quarter of 2007.