The transition to hybrid work (opens in new tab) is leading businesses to purchase new equipment for both their remote workers and offices which is why HP (opens in new tab) has announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Poly (opens in new tab).
If approved, the all-cash transaction at $40 per share would see HP acquire Poly for $1.7bn though the deal itself is valued at $3.3bn as it also includes Poly's net debt.
While employers and employees alike upgraded their devices and peripherals when working from home (opens in new tab) during the pandemic, the rise of hybrid work is creating sustained demand for technology that enables seamless collaboration (opens in new tab) across home and office environments. At the same time, traditional office spaces are being upgraded to better support hybrid work and collaboration with a focus on meeting room solutions.
According to a recent study (opens in new tab) from Frost & Sullivan, of the more than 90m meeting rooms today, less than ten percent have video capability and HP aims to capitalize on this through its acquisition of Poly.
President and CEO of HP, Enrique Lores provided further insight in a press release (opens in new tab) on why HP wants to add Poly's products and solutions to its portfolio of printers (opens in new tab) and business laptops (opens in new tab), saying:
“The rise of the hybrid office creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way work gets done. Combining HP and Poly creates a leading portfolio of hybrid work solutions across large and growing markets. Poly’s strong technology, complementary go-to-market, and talented team will help to drive long-term profitable growth as we continue building a stronger HP.”
The perfect match?
In a more hybrid world, cloud-based platforms like Zoom (opens in new tab) and Microsoft Teams (opens in new tab) will play an important role in the future of work as they enable workers across industries to collaborate from anywhere.
Zoom CEO Eric Yuan praised the deal saying that high quality audio and video has become an “essential component of work across every industry”. He also noted that the combination of Poly and HP's offerings will unlock new opportunities for HP to partner with Zoom to “turn any space into a hub for dynamic video collaboration”.
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Through its acquisition of Poly, HP aims to drive growth and scale its peripherals and workforce solutions businesses which represent a $110bn and $120bn segment opportunity respectively. With Poly's devices, software and services combined with HP's strengths across compute, device management (opens in new tab) and security, the deal will create a robust portfolio of hybrid meeting solutions.
HP expects the transaction to close by the end of this year once it receives Poly stockholder and regulatory approval.
We'll likely hear more on HP's plans to enter the video conferencing (opens in new tab) hardware market once its acquisition of Poly is complete.
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