HP confirms CSC deal

Hewlett-Packard New Zealand will undergo a dress rehearsal for its proposed merger with Compaq as it absorbs the local arm of services company CSC.

HP's New Zealand services business head, Mark Bowman, confirmed last week that the CSC acquisition is taking place, following six weeks of examining the CSC books.

Bowman says he's "hopeful" the majority of CSC's 90 or so staff will join HP.

"We're not looking to downsize; we're not acquiring CSC for purposes of cost-cutting," he says.

CSC New Zealand head Kimbal Riley couldn't say whether he'd be one of those joining HP.

"I don't know", was his repsonse when asked whether he expected to become part of the expanded HP services business.

Riley says CSC staff are positive about the merger, but he can't say how many will take up jobs with HP.

According to Bowman, the acquisition is "a tactic of the HP New Zealand business. It doesn't mean we're heading away from our product business. This is definitely going to be complementary to it."

The deal, whose value Bowman wouldn't disclose, hands HP CSC's Auckland "class A" data centre, which has a mix of IBM, Sun, Compaq and HP hardware. But Bowman says far from the data centre being the main prize of the acquisition, CSC's staff are what count. "Services is a people-based business," he says.

The CSC contingent will join about 50 existing HP services staff.

CSC customers who expressed misgivings about deal when it was first revealed now appear reassured about it.

Riley says the company has "50 to 100" New Zealand customers.

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