HP to Acquire Aruba Networks to Create an Industry Leader in Enterprise Mobility

HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Aruba Networks (NASDAQ: ARUN) today announced a definitive agreement for HP to acquire Aruba, a leading provider of next-generation network access solutions for the mobile enterprise, for $24.67 per share in cash. The equity value of the transaction is approximately $3.0 billion, and net of cash and debt approximately $2.7 billion. Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the deal.

 

Aruba is a Sunnyvale-based industry leader in wireless networking with approximately 1,800 employees. The company had revenues of $729 million in fiscal 2014, and has reported compound annual revenue growth of 30 percent over the last five years.

 

Aruba boasts a highly regarded innovation engine and specialized sales, marketing and channel model, complementing HP’s leading networking business and go-to-market breadth. Together, HP and Aruba will deliver next-generation converged campus solutions, leveraging the strong Aruba brand. This new combined organization will be led by Aruba’s Chief Executive Officer Dominic Orr, and Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Keerti Melkote, reporting to Antonio Neri, leader of HP Enterprise Group. With this move, HP will be uniquely positioned to deliver both the innovation and global delivery and services offerings to meet customer needs worldwide.

 

With the shift to mobile, enterprise networking needs are exceeding the capabilities of legacy infrastructure. At the same time, organizations are shifting rapidly to mobility-centric workplaces for their employees, guests, customers and students. The next-generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard is critical in enabling this trend. This new technology will support the faster speeds and access to cloud applications that end-users expect. Enterprises need comprehensive, integrated and secure networking solutions to help them transition legacy systems to the wireless edge. Today’s announcement directly addresses these market trends.

 

“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, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer 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.”

 

“Together with HP, we have a tremendous opportunity to become an even greater force in enterprise mobility and networking,” said Mr. Orr. “This transaction brings together Aruba’s best-of-breed 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.”

 

HP and Aruba believe that by combining complementary product portfolios and go-to-market approaches they will be able to accelerate revenue growth and strengthen the financial performance of the combined HP Networking business, and create a leading competitor in the $18 billion and growing campus networking sector. Overall, HP expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in the first full year following close.

 

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.