After the split, HP Enterprise will be forbidden from selling itself

HP Meg Whitman HPHP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman

Here’s another interesting tidbit buried in a 316-page report filed to the SEC about HP’s plans to separate itself into two companies.

The new HP Enterprise company won’t be able to sell itself for two years.

This restriction is part of the tax-free status that the separation will get.

Specifically, the report says that HPE will be “prohibited under the tax matters agreement” from “entering into any transaction pursuant to which all or a portion of the shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise common stock would be acquired.

At the same time, HPE will be looking to make acquisitions, even big ones, the report says. “In order to pursue our strategy successfully, we must identify candidates for and successfully complete business combination and investment transactions, some of which may be large or complex.”

It sounds like HP’s management is still dreaming of doing a huge-game changing acquisition after HP finishes its split, maybe even buying EMC, Wall Street analyst Brian Alexander from firm Raymond James speculated in a research note on Monday.

“While we concede that some of this may be standard language, it overtly suggests large transactions are possible (e.g., EMC),” Alexander writes.

HP and EMC were rumoured to be in mega-merger talks last fall. But the talks reportedly fell apart. Shortly after that, HP CEO Meg Whitman announced that HP was splitting itself in two.

The separation hasn’t stopped HP from making big acquisitions, including a $US3 billion buy of wireless networking company Aruba in March, but buying Aruba is hardly on the scale of buying EMC, which has a $US51 billion market cap.

Still, HPE will still have to do something to turn itself around.

HP expects to complete the spin out by the end of its fiscal year in October and then HPE will consist of a handful of businesses that sell technology to enterprises (servers, networking equipment, software, consulting) with nearly every single product line declining in revenues, HP says.

“We still think HP Enterprise needs to transform via acquisition,”Alexander concludes.

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