HP Slams $24.4 Billion Dell Private Equity Deal


HP's decision to slam Dell comes as the competition between the two computer giants heats up, with both of them courting solution provider partners with a broader enterprise solutions and services portfolio.

It also comes with HP under fire for its handling of what may well be its biggest bid to transform itself into a software and solutions power with its $11.1 billion acquisition of Autonomy. HP initially characterized the Autonomy deal in August 2011 as cloud computing game-changer.

Last November, still under fire for the high price it paid for Autonomy, HP took an $8.8 billion charge against earnings, alleging "serious accounting improprieties" by Autonomy.

While HP top executives have been reticent to publicly criticize Dell, Michael Dell has repeatedly scoffed at what he has seen as HP's strategic missteps, from HP's decision to consider spinning off its PC business in August 2011 to the HP Autonomy acquisition.

In fact, Michael Dell said last year in an interview with the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph that he was offered a chance to buy Autonomy but rejected it because it was "overwhelmingly obvious" that Autonomy was overpriced.

FutureTech's Venero said he sees the HP statement as a "market opportunity to take share because there is a change happening at Dell."

That said, Venero stressed that he sees the private equity deal as a plus for Dell. "It's going to give them more flexibility and more autonomy away from scrutiny of the compliance-ridden public market," he said.

PUBLISHED FEB. 5, 2013