HP close to buying ArcSight for RM5bil

NEW YORK: Computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co may be close to another major acquisition. The company is nearing a deal to buy security software provider ArcSight for about US$1.5bil (RM4.8bil), The Wall Street Journal said on its website.

Calls to HP and ArcSight seeking comment on a potential buyout were not immediately returned.

The news comes just a few weeks after HP successfully wrestled data storage company 3Par Inc from rival Dell Inc for US$2.07bil (RM6.6bil).

The deal raised eyebrows among analysts who questioned whether 3Par was worth more than triple what the market had valued the company before Dell and HP started their bidding war.

Now, in its effort to continue expanding beyond personal computers and printer ink, HP may put up more cash for a company that provides technology for protecting business and government computer networks from hackers.

HP, along with many of its rivals in the tech industry, wants to gain market share and diversify its business by offering a broad set of products rather than supply just one piece of the puzzle.

The company branched into technology services two years ago with the US$13.9bil (RM44.5bil) acquisition of Electronic Data Systems and last year agreed to buy the computer networking company 3Com for US$2.7bil (RM8.6bil).

HP isn’t the only big tech company tapping the computer security industry for growth. Intel Corp, the world’s main provider of chips for PCs, said last month that it will buy McAfee Inc for US$7.68bil (RM24.6bil).

ArcSight, based in Cupertino, California, is a smaller competitor, with annual revenue in its most recent fiscal year of about US$181mil (RM579mil) to McAfee’s US$1.9bil (RM6.1bil).

It reported a 39% jump in quarterly revenue for the three months ended July 31, with earnings more than doubling from the year before to US$6.6mil (RM21mil).

The company helps organisations keep tabs on the data flowing through their computer networks and analyse it for signs of hacking, theft or fraud.

The Journal reported last month that ArcSight had been looking for a buyer, naming Oracle Corp, EMC Corp and IBM Corp as other potential bidders. — AP

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