HP set to split in two

Hewlett-Packard has announced that it is splitting into two separate, publicly traded companies. More details have now emerged on the split.

One will comprise of HP’s enterprise technology infrastructure, software and services businesses, which will trade as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise; and other HP’s market-leading personal systems and printing businesses, which will do business as HP Inc and retain the current logo.

Immediately following the transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2015, HP shareholders will own shares of both Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. The transaction is intended to be tax-free to HP’s shareholders for federal income tax purposes.

The announcement comes as HP approaches the fourth year of its five-year turnaround plan. Over this time, the company has executed successfully against its turnaround objectives, keeping customers and partners at the forefront.

HP has reignited its innovation pipeline, strengthened its go-to-market capabilities, rebuilt its balance sheet, and inspired its workforce and management teams. The company is now positioned to accelerate performance, drive sustained growth and demonstrate clear industry leadership in key areas.

“Our work during the past three years has significantly strengthened our core businesses to the point where we can more aggressively go after the opportunities created by a rapidly changing market,” says Meg Whitman, chairman, president and CEO of HP.

“The decision to separate into two market-leading companies underscores our commitment to the turnaround plan. It will provide each new company with the independence, focus, financial resources, and flexibility they need to adapt quickly to market and customer dynamics, while generating long-term value for shareholders.

“In short, by transitioning now from one HP to two new companies, created out of our successful turnaround efforts, we will be in an even better position to compete in the market, support our customers and partners, and deliver maximum value to our shareholders.”

Both companies will be well capitalised and expect to have investment grade credit ratings and capital structures optimised to reflect their distinct growth opportunities and cash flow profiles.

The separation into independent publicly traded companies will provide each company with its own, more focused equity currency, and investors with the opportunity to invest in two companies with compelling and unique financial profiles well suited to their respective businesses.

Meg Whitman, president and CEO of HP, and Cathie Lesjak, chief financial officer of HP, will hold these positions with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. When the separation is complete, Whitman will also serve on the board of Hewlett-
Packard Enterprise, and Pat Russo will move from lead independent director of HP to chairman of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

Dion Weisler, executive vice-president of HP’s Printing and Personal Systems business, will lead HP Inc as president and CEO. Whitman will serve as non-executive chairman of HP Inc’s board.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will have a strong portfolio and multi-year innovation roadmap across technology infrastructure, software and services to allow customers to take advantage of the opportunities presented by cloud, big data, security and mobility. By leveraging its HP Financial Services capability, the company will be well positioned to create technology deployment models for customers and partners based on their specific business needs.

Additionally, the company intends for HP Financial Services to continue to provide financing and business model innovation for customers and partners of HP Inc.

“Over the past three years, we have re-ignited our innovation engine with breakthrough offerings for the enterprise like Apollo, Gen 9 and Moonshot servers, our 3PAR storage platform, our HP OneView management platform, our HP Helion Cloud and a host of software and services offerings in security, analytics and application transformation,” says Whitman. “Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will accelerate innovation across key next-generation areas of the portfolio.”

HP Inc aims to be a leader in the personal systems and printing markets with new technologies on the horizon. The new company’s strong profitability and free cash flow will enable investments in growth markets such as 3D printing and new computing experiences. At the same time, HP Inc will continue to execute against a well-defined and established strategic plan, ensuring continuity for customers and consistent value to shareholders.

“Since assuming responsibility for the Printing and Personal Systems Group, Dion and his leadership team have done an excellent job of building our relationships with customers and channel partners, segmenting the market and driving product innovation,” says Whitman. “The creation of HP Inc will only accelerate the progress the team has made.”

“This is a defining moment in our industry as customers are looking for innovation to enable workforces that are more mobile, connected and productive while at the same time allowing a seamless experience across work and play,” adds Weisler.

“As the market leader in printing and personal systems, an independent HP Inc will be extremely well positioned to deliver that innovation across our traditional markets as well as extend our leadership into new markets like 3D printing and new computing experiences – inventing technology that empowers people to create, interact and inspire like never before.”

The separation transaction is intended to be tax-free to HP shareholders for federal income tax purposes.

The transaction is currently targeted to be completed by the end of fiscal 2015, subject to certain conditions, including, among others, obtaining final approval from the HP board of directors, receipt of a favourable opinion and/or rulings with respect to the tax-free nature of the transaction for federal income tax purposes and the effectiveness of a Form 10 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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