HP closes Mercury buy, promises road map in December

HP closes Mercury buy, promises road map in December

Mercury Interactive is now part of Hewlett-Packard after HP completed its $4.5 billion takeover of the company on Tuesday.

HP is finally the proud owner of Mercury Interactive, after closing the $US4.5 billion purchase of the IT management software and services player.

Sealing the deal took a little longer than expected, given HP first announced its intention to buy Mercury back in July. HP had to extend its tender offer four times to Mercury shareholders before the vendor was able to complete the tender offer process last week. Mercury is now a wholly-owned HP subsidiary.

Mercury is the largest software acquisition HP has made to date and is set to boost the vendor's annual software revenue to over $2 billion. With Mercury under its belt, HP will become the sixth largest software vendor in the world, according to vice-president of marketing for software at HP, David Gee.

"This is the end of the beginning," Gee said. "The road map and convergence work are done."

While HP has traditionally focused on systems and network management with its OpenView software family, Mercury has concentrated on application management and also owns the Systinet registry and repository, important technology to facilitate SOA (service-oriented architecture) deployments.

"This is a game changing move for our customers," Gee said. "We'll combine Mercury with OpenView."

Acquiring Mercury can be seen as a major commitment by HP to OpenView, which hasn't always been the case. At one point, a few years back, Mercury was actively considering buying OpenView when HP appearing to be losing interest in the systems management product family.

HP expected to go public with its road map for Mercury technologies at its next major customer event, Software Universe, due to take place in Vienna, December 12-15, Gee said.

Since July, HP has also been busy talking to customers. "They told us that the [IT] industry has a spotty track record in terms of product integration, so 'Don't screw it up,'" he said.

Bringing HP and Mercury together had been complex given the size of the two companies, but easier than other HP acquisitions because there was almost no product overlap, Gee said.

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