HP extends its offer for Mercury for third time

Still not enough shareholder votes to clinch deal

Hoping for a scenario of third time lucky, Hewlett-Packard has again extended the deadline for Mercury Interactive shareholders to approve HP’s US$4.5 billion (NZ$6.7 billion) pending purchase of Mercury.

The third offer expires at midnight on October 27. The previous tender offer expired at midnight October 13 and as of then, Mercury shareholders had tendered about 81.5 million shares, not enough to close the deal.

HP first announced plans to acquire Mercury in July to enhance its presence in IT management software and services. Mercury has particular strength in applications management, while HP has traditionally focused on systems and network management via its OpenView software family. Mercury will also bring HP the Systinet registry and repository, which is seen by analysts as key to any company committed to the popular SOA (service-oriented architecture) model.

Mercury chief executive Tony Zingale had this to say about HP’s acquisition plans when interviewed by Computerworld US earlier this year: “Mercury is formidable in the business technology optimisation realm, and has testing prowess and IT governance capability. When you combine that with the richness and depth that HP has — with IT service management and network management and OpenView products — you get pretty much an incomparable set in the market.”

Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink in Baltimore, said when the deal was first announced that it would create a battle of the titans between HP, CA and IBM in the enterprise information management space.

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