It may strike a note of irrelevancy to some as the world’s stock markets tumble in fear of a double dip recession, after all, it is only the second biggest acquisition announced this week,. However, the speed with which HP’s £7.1bn bid for Autonomy went from rumour to acknowledgement to fact was as fast as it was compelling.
It was also totally unexpected. Other than a rumour that Microsoft was going to purchase it in 2009, speculation of an acquisition has focused much more heavily on Autonomy’s Cambridge neighbour, Arm, especially in the past year.
Here’s how the story unravelled.
First a posting from Bloomberg hit the wires saying that HP was set to offer $10bn for Cambridge software giant, Autonomy, that's when the snow cracked and the news avalanche fell.
Autonomy soon confirmed it was indeed in talks about a possible offer by HP, which was followed next by a confirmation of discussions from HP as well as drastic plans for its home computing division, including a potential spin off.
Late in the day HP followed it up with the official announcement that it had offered £25.50 in cash for each Autonomy share.
Once the markets opened this morning, Autonomy made up the majority of the difference with its shares up 75 per cent to £25.05.
The target is to close the deal by the end of the year, let’s see how the rest of the tale unfolds.