HP buying Mercury Interactive in US$4.5B deal

Hewlett-Packard Co. said Tuesday it has reached an agreement to acquire Mercury Interactive Corp., an IT management software and services firm, in a deal worth approximately US$4.5 billion.

HP officials said in a statement announcing the deal that they expect the purchase to boost HP's portfolio of IT management software and services.

"Today, we are combining two market-leading businesses to create the most powerful management software portfolio in the industry," said Mark Hurd, HP's CEO and president. "Together, they will help customers cut their IT costs, speed the delivery of new services and drive profitable growth at HP. We expect this important acquisition to deliver significant value for our shareholders."

Mercury Interactive CEO and President Tony Zingale said the union means the two companies will "instantly become the industry's premier provider of business technology optimization software."

HP plans to pay $52 per share for Mercury Interactive, with the acquisition expected to increase the size of HP's software business to more than $2 billion a year in revenue. Once the deal closes, Mountain View, Calif.-based Mercury will become part of the HP Software business, with both companies' sales forces cross-selling each others' products.

HP, which planned to discuss the acquisition late this afternoon in a conference call with executives, said it expects the purchase to close by the end of the year.