BusinessCompany NewsMerged HP/Compaq ready for take-off

Merged HP/Compaq ready for take-off

The new Hewlett Packard formed by the largest IT merger in history, will be officially launched in San Francisco later today (Tuesday), 18 months after HP pulled out of a deal to buy PricewaterhouseCoopers' consulting arm.

The deal with PwC fell through in December 2000 after HP was unable to reach mutually acceptable terms of agreement with the accounting firm in what would have been a $18bn deal.

Instead, the launch of the new IT company in California is expected to include an employee meeting, a news conference with company executives, and announcements regarding which product lines will be retained.

According to analysts, both HP and Compaq customers could be in for some surprises as the new company takes advantage of the merger to clean out some products and brands from the combined line-up.

Compaq’s OpenVMS and Tru64 Unix software and HP’s Netaction infrastructure software are likely to be among the first casualties, according to Gartner analyst Paul McGuckin.

While customers may see existing products killed off they may also be able to win major discounts from the new HP as the company works to retain customers and prove the value of the merger.

HP and Compaq customers aren’t the only ones having to face changes. Employees have known since the deal was announced that 15,000 people were set to be cut from the combined company.

While the product and branding roadmap are the initial priorities, headcount changes will develop throughout the year.

On Monday HP’s ticker symbol changed from HWP to HPQ. The change, according to HP chief executive Carly Fiorina, is intended as a tribute to the contributions of both companies in forming the new company.

PwC has yet to find a buyer for its consulting arm.

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