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Potential Buyers for HP Enterprise (HPE) Software Businesses

Hewlett Packard Enterprise apparently is looking to sell some of its software business assets. But who are the potential buyers for the HPE software offerings? The apparent answer may involve private equity firms.

> Updated Sept. 1, 2016, 3:04 p.m. ET: Thoma Bravo bidding to Buy HPE Software Unit?

> Updated Sept. 7, 2016, 8:30 p.m. ET: HPE Confirms Software Spin-Off Plan.

Indeed, buyout firms are focused on acquiring some software assets that HPE has been considering divesting, worth between $6 billion and $8 billion, Reuters reported July 29. Meanwhile, The Information says private equity firms including KKR & Co LP, Apollo Global Management LLC  and Carlyle Group LP were “sniffing around” Hewlett Packard Enterprise to potentially buy the entire company. It’s unclear if those PE firms would consider buying only certain software assets.

HPE CEO Meg Whitman and the leadership team have delivered impressive results in recent months — especially across the company’s various hardware businesses. The software business has also improved a bit but remains a laggard amid the overall shift to cloud and subscription-based services.

Among the software assets HPE may be looking to sell:

  • Autonomy, which HPE acquired for $10.3 billion in 2011 — though HP ultimately wrote down nearly $9 billion associated with the deal.
  • Mercury, which the company acquired for $4.5 billion in 2006.
  • Vertica, which the company acquired for $350 million in 2011.

HPE has not commented on speculation about potential software asset sales.

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