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HP To Acquire 3com For $2.7 Billion 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-bigger dept.
An anonymous reader writes "HP and 3Com Corporation today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase 3Com, a leading provider of networking switching, routing and security solutions, at a price of $7.90 per share in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $2.7 billion. The terms of the transaction have been approved by the HP and 3Com boards of directors."
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HP To Acquire 3com For $2.7 Billion

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  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @08:41PM (#30067968) Homepage Journal
    ... what happened to 3com. Some of us remember "back in the day" when 3com was one of the top brands for network cards (3c503 or 3c509 anyone?). Then their cards disappeared from the market some years ago, apparently they decided to focus on other areas. I guess it isn't a huge surprise that they would become a target for acquisition.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @08:47PM (#30067998)

    3C905B-TX
    Possibly the most compatible card I have ever used. (Every OS except >= Vista supports it). Now they're super cheap on the electronic bay.

  • FU HP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @08:49PM (#30068008)

    As a current HP bastard (who didn't post this, BTW), this pissed me off. We've endured pay cuts, benefit cuts, no raises, mass firings, hell, my local office can't even purchase paper plates & disposable spoons, and somehow there's enough money to purchase another company.

  • Re:FU HP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by confused one (671304) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @09:18PM (#30068228)
    It's not limited to IT. We matched last years numbers (which were record setting, by the way) and increased profitability. But... because our sister division's numbers sucked, No bonus for us, expansion is on hold, and capital expendatures on equipment we need for production is on hold. Meanwhile the parent corporation is buying up compatible businesses. So, why was it we busted our collective asses this year? Someone?
  • Re:Valuation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @09:46PM (#30068432)
    i don't get it either. what can 3com possibly provide that HP doesn't already have? if carly hadn't of destroyed hp's RnD labs they could have built anything 3com have for a lot less then 2.7 billion.
  • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by khallow (566160) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @09:47PM (#30068442)
    Calculators are a small part of HP's business and definitely not driving this merger. Someone was saying that HP might be doing this to better position themselves in the datacenter. I guess that they see the networking products of 3Com as another way to sell HP services. In other words, look at the high margin parts of HP. They are printer refills and various support services. I don't see the 3Com merger selling more printer refills, but it does look likely to open the door to more HP services.
  • by Mr. Roadkill (731328) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @10:32PM (#30068728)

    See, i remember the 3c509's well - that's all they would support at my university (no generic isa NE2000 cards allowed in 1996...)

    $ORKPLACE (a university) mandated the 3c509 because we apparantly had lots of problems getting Banyan Vines to work properly through generic NE2000 clones. When PCI came along we moved to the 905. Then we went Netware, and the on-board Intel and Tulip chips got really good, and separate NICs became an un-needed extra cost for most applications here - I could easily believe the same thing happened elsewhere, too. A couple of years ago I fished about 20 new-in-box 3c509b's from a skip; don't know what I'll use them for but they were just too good to let go into landfill, I'll probably wait until supplies dry up and eBay the suckers to the desperate if I can't find anything else to do with them.

    The 905's were good - I may have one or two various revisions lying around - they always seemed to work with every OS I would ever throw at them.

    They're lovely. I've got a whole stack of various revisions of them too, mostly pulled from computer carcasses because they were too good to throw away, and they're great as second or third or fourth interfaces in machines that need them.

  • by KenSeymour (81018) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @10:35PM (#30068744)

    Actually, she is running for the U. S. Senate against Barbara Boxer.

    Maybe I'll send Senator Boxer a campaign contribution with a note:
    "I was laid off by Carly."

    You know, you can give money to campaigns out of state. So there are
    a good 15,000 potential donors right there.

  • Made me laugh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bsd_usr (140514) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @10:38PM (#30068760) Homepage

    Here's the thing... The company I work for has a few sister companies in HK and China. I work for the U.S. office.

    We recently (last year) upgraded our switches in the U.S. office. Previously, we were running 3Com switches of various types and models (3300's mostly of different kinds, and some 4200's). The decision to replace them was due to the fact they were getting old and the performance wasn't really there when you start daisy chaining 10 different switches to support over 200 ports.

    When looking for new switches, I looked at Cisco and HP. Our overseas IIT guy tried to get us to go the 3Com route once again, since that's what they use in the HK and China offices. Actually, they use Huawei branded switches as well as 3Com braded switches. If you don't know already, they're basically the same thing. He really tried hard to get us to go that route, but I would not budge. I did everything to show that 3Com had very little market share in the U.S. and thus very little support.

    Anyway, we ended up replacing the aging 3Com equipment with HP Procurve switches (5406 and 5412). We wanted to go with Cisco switches at first, but they were our of our budget. Next to Cisco, HP seemed like the most logical choice.So far, I'm happy with the decision.

    I just find it ironic that after the acquisition, that whole power struggle over which switch to use will be moot.

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @10:49PM (#30068822)

    Why is anybody surprised by this? Cisco announces a server product with very strong networking abilities. This is pretty much one of the few large areas of the datacenter (hardware wise) that Cisco hasn't moved into (besides disk arrays). HP sees this as a huge threat to them (bigger than IBM, who makes most revenue from services including running datacenters comprised of non-IBM equipment).

    HP now realizing that they don't have the networking expertise to go after cisco directly in the networking space (one area they need to expand into to gain marketshare in the datacenter beyond servers and HDS rebranded storage, or that midrange Compaq based arrays). Well, they could go after the #2 enterprise networking company (Juniper, but they have a market cap of ~$13B), so they pick up 3com and whatever is left of it (remember they used to be partnered a while ago with Huauei, that partnership is gone tho), so they can better fight against Cisco for networking.

    For these big companies it's all about expanding your presence and finding new revenue streams. Cisco can't seriously increase it's core routing/switching marketshare very easily any more than HP can increase its server marketshare.

    It's not always easy to grow your company organically (from within). Look at cisco, they buy security companies, storage switching companies, WebEx. Hell, when they were a router only company, they bought an ethernet switching company (Crescendo) which later became the bread and butter business for them.

  • by Deviant (1501) on Wednesday November 11, 2009 @11:07PM (#30068948)

    I've found HP's ProCurve Switches to be great with a lifetime warranty and free software updates compared to the Cisco equivilents which need SmartNet (maybe smart on Cisco's part) and cost 2-3 times as much.

    However with alot of my clients rolling out the Cisco Voice solutions the idea usually is they standardize on all Cisco kit including the switches. I wonder if this is HP's play to get into the IP telephony market (which 3Com's website indicates they are in) to complete their offerings so a buisiness will go all-HP in a similar fashion?

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) * <bruce@perens.com> on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:09AM (#30069552) Homepage Journal
    Remember Bob Metcalfe and all of the FUD he used to spout about Linux and Open Source?

    Bob used to answer the phone when I had a problem with the 3com card in my VAX-780. Then he was riding high for a while. I'd imagine he took out lots of cash while the company was a leader.

  • by DarthBart (640519) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @01:11AM (#30069570)

    At the telemarketing company I worked at in 1995, the Tandem mainframe interfaced with the rest of the world through interface computers called MLADs (Multilan Attachment Devices). The MLAD required a 3c503 coax interface card configured to a particular IO address & IRQ for the Tandem side interface an a 3c509 TPE interface card on another particular IO address & IRQ. It wouldn't work with any other card.

    There were 4 racks of those machines. All transporting NetBIOS over IPX between the Tandem and the rest of the workstations.

  • Re:Valuation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by inKubus (199753) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:10AM (#30069860) Homepage Journal

    They have a ton of IP, such as the patent for connecting VOIP calls to a regular PSTN [google.com], and didn't they just start flexing on their ethernet patents earlier this week? They had previously settled with Realtek for something like 70M + licensing and pretty much every other chip out there uses buffering. Obviously 70M is chump change to HP but I could see them getting 2B worth out of the rest of the 3com IP at least.

  • by nbvb (32836) on Thursday November 12, 2009 @02:36PM (#30076424) Journal

    You realize that Banyan was "collaborating" with MS on AD correct?

    So much of AD is direct from Banyan... still.

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