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Hewlett Packard to Acquire Juniper Networks in $14B AI Boost

 |  January 10, 2024

In a strategic move to bolster its artificial intelligence (AI) offerings, Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced on Tuesday that it will acquire networking gear maker Juniper Networks for a hefty $14 billion, signaling a significant step in the ever-evolving landscape of technology mergers.

The deal, structured entirely in cash, will see HPE paying $40 per share to Juniper shareholders, representing a substantial 32.4% premium over the stock’s closing price on Monday, reported Reuters.

The acquisition aligns with the ongoing AI gold rush, as companies globally invest billions of dollars in upgrading and developing new technologies. For HPE, the move is anticipated to double its networking business, providing a crucial boost amid sluggish demand in its traditional server business.

Juniper Networks, facing challenges from weak demand exacerbated by inflation-affected wireless carriers and cable operators, as well as fierce competition from industry giants such as Cisco Systems and Nvidia, brings valuable assets to the table. Juniper’s strengths lie in network security and AI-enabled enterprise networking operations (AIOps), aligning seamlessly with HPE’s strategic goals.

Shares of Juniper experienced a modest uptick of 0.5% in extended trading after the announcement, while HPE’s shares remained largely flat.

HPE’s interest in Juniper’s portfolio is driven by a desire to tap into the expanding realm of AI technologies. As businesses increasingly seek robust solutions for network security and AI-driven operations, the acquisition positions HPE to offer an enhanced suite of products and services.

The transaction, expected to close in late 2024 or early 2025, is contingent upon regulatory approvals. The financing for the $14 billion deal will be secured through commitments for term loans. Both companies anticipate the acquisition to be accretive to HPE’s non-GAAP earnings and free cash flow in the first year post-completion.

Source: Reuters