The transition to hybrid working is driving companies to purchase new equipment for both their remote workers and offices. As a result, HP has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Poly.
If approved in cash at $40 a share, HP would acquire Poly for $1.7 billion, although the deal itself is valued at $3.3 billion as it also includes Poly’s net debt.
While employers and employees upgraded their devices and peripherals when working from home during the pandemic, the emergence of hybrid work creates an ongoing demand for technology that enables seamless collaboration in 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 by Frost & Sullivan, of the more than 90 million meeting rooms today, less than 10 percent have video capabilities, and HP is looking to capitalize on this through its acquisition of Poly.
HP President and CEO Enrique Lores provided further insight in a press release on why HP is looking to add Poly’s products and solutions to its portfolio of printers and business laptops, saying:
“The emergence of the hybrid office creates a unique opportunity to redefine the way work is done. Combining HP and Poly creates a leading portfolio of hybrid work solutions in large and growing markets. Poly’s strong technology, complementary go-to-market and talented team will help drive profitable long-term growth as we continue to build a stronger HP.”
The perfect match?
In a more hybrid world, cloud-based platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams 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 have become an “essential part of the job in any industry.” He also noted that the combination of Poly and HP’s offerings will open up new opportunities for HP to partner with Zoom to “turn any space into a hub for dynamic video collaboration.”
Through the acquisition of Poly, HP aims to drive growth and scale its peripherals and workforce solutions businesses, which represent a $110 billion and $120 billion segment opportunity, respectively. With Poly’s devices, software and services combined with HP’s strengths in computing, device management and security, the deal will create a robust portfolio of hybrid conferencing solutions.
HP expects the transaction to close by the end of this year once it has received Poly shareholder and regulatory approval.
We’ll likely hear more about HP’s plans to enter the video conferencing hardware market once the Poly acquisition is complete.