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HP buys Opsware for $1.6 billion

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  • HP to acquire Opsware Inc. to bolster its line-up of business software offerings
  • HP-Opsware deal worth $1.6 billion
  • HP purchased Mercury Interactive last year for $4.5 billion
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NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Computer and printer maker Hewlett-Packard said Monday that it would acquire Opsware Inc. for $1.6 billion to bolster its line-up of business software offerings.

HP said it would tender for all outstanding shares of Opsware, a supplier of software used to automate computer data centers, at $14.25 each, a 38.6 percent premium to Opsware's closing price of $10.28 on Nasdaq on Friday.

The deal comes on the heals of other software acquisitions by HP, including its purchase of Mercury Interactive last year for $4.5 billion and its purchase of Peregrine Systems for $425 million in 2005.

The $1.6 billion price tag on the Opsware deal is net of existing cash and debt, the companies said. Opsware said it has about $65 million of cash on hand and only $100,000 in debt.

After the deal is completed, Opsware will become part of the HP Software business. Most of Opsware's 550 employees are expected to move to HP, and Opsware Chief Executive Ben Horowitz will stay on to head HP's business technology optimization group.

The tender offer is subject to a number of closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in HP's fiscal fourth quarter. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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