HP-3Com: Judgment Day Approaches
Hewlett-Packard’s pending takeover of 3Com will be put to a vote on January 26. Assuming the deal gets approved, the takeover could be completed in time for Interop, the networking event scheduled for April 2010. And rumors are starting to fly that HP will potentially counter Cisco Partner Summit with some sort of event. Here’s the scoop.
First, some background: A special meeting of the stockholders will be held January 26 at 3Com’s corporate headquarters in Marlborough, Mass., to vote on the acquisition. At that point, the transaction will either move forward or not, depending on what the shareholders vote. So far all signs point to an approved deal.
Shareholders will receive $7.90 in cash per share, according to an SEC filing. That amount is slightly more than the closing price of $7.54 per share on Jan. 5. Over the last year, 3Com’s share price has bounced from a low of $2.10 to a high of its current $7.54.
Countering Cisco Partner Summit?
Assuming no bumps in the road, HP and 3Com expect the merger will be completed by the end of April 2010, according to the SEC filing. Citing SEC regulations, neither company would provide a statement.
Now here are some interesting twists. In recent weeks TheVARguy.com noticed the following conference dates:
- Cisco Partner Summit (April 26-29, San Francisco)
- Juniper J-Partner Summit (April 26-28, Arizona), according to a company spokeswoman
- Interop (April 25-29, Las Vegas)
And now, we’re hearing HP may plan a partner event to coincide with Interop in Las Vegas. If true, it could be a coming out party for the HP-3Com deal — and a counter-punch to Cisco Partner Summit. For now, we consider the HP Las Vegas event just a rumor but it comes from a good source. We’ve got a call into HP seeking comment.
Update, Jan. 7, 11:14 a.m. eastern: A Hewlett-Packard spokesman has confirmed HP’s plans for a partner conference the same week as Cisco Partner Summit.
Cisco essentially declared war against HP during the Cisco Partner Summit 2009. A combined HP-3Com could give HP the ammo it needs to converge storage and data networking as Cisco pushes further into the data center space. Still it’s two Davids battling one giant Goliath, and it will take godlike aim to fell Cisco in one move.
3Com’s solution providers — at least what’s left of them, anyway –are left to watch this play out. Since they’ve been without a channel chief since last March, it may be a breath of fresh air to ally themselves with a company that cares enough about their partners to have a decent solution provider program. Then again, it’s a pretty good bet that most 3Com partners are also HP partners. So it remains to be seen what changes, if any, will be in store for them.
Additional reporting by Joe Panettieri.