HP CEO on the prowl for acquisitions up to $1.5 billion

Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:55pm EDT
 
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By Sinead Carew

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co is back in the market for acquisitions of up to $1.5 billion, Chief Executive Meg Whitman said in a televised interview on Thursday, aiming for smaller deals after a flurry of outsized purchases in past years.

Whitman, speaking a day after she switched out the chief of the company's Enterprise group and said HP's second-largest unit had fallen down on sales and product execution, told business channel CNBC the company could also do deals in the $100 million to $300 million range.

"We have our eye on a number of areas," the executive said in the interview. Whitman did not elaborate on specific targets but explained how the company could use acquisitions.

"Acquisitions will become part of our future, to further some of our strategic initiatives and shore up some of the product holes," she said.

"We don't need a five or six billion dollar acquisition. I think there are acquisitions in the $100 million, $300 million range, maybe some up to 1 to $1.5 billion that we might be interested in."

She also ruled out the idea of breaking up HP or selling assets.

"We're the only company that can go from devices to infrastructure to services to software and this is a huge point of difference," she said. "There's a lot to be said for HP today and we aim to prove that."

BAD DEAL LEGACY   Continued...

 
Meg Whitman, chief executive officer and president of Hewlett-Packard, speaks during the grand opening of the company's Executive Briefing Center in Palo Alto, California January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Stephen Lam