HP to Acquire Palm for $1.2 Billion

by Volker Weber

HP and Palm, Inc. (NASDAQ: PALM) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase Palm, a provider of smartphones powered by the Palm webOS mobile operating system, at a price of $5.70 per share of Palm common stock in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion. The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors.

Interesting tidbit:

Today at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, HP will conduct a live audio webcast for financial analysts and stockholders to discuss HP’s agreement to acquire Palm. The webcast will be hosted by Todd Bradley and is accessible at www.hp.com/investor/webcast.

Todd Bradley is executive vice president of HP’s Personal Systems Group. Prior to joining HP, Bradley was CEO of Palm.

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Sad end for Palm. Probably another wretched acquisition for HP. Can't think a shareholder for either company would be that pleased...

Interesting point re: Todd Bradley - what did he achieve at Palm?

Stuart McIntyre, 2010-04-28

Stuart, you have been living to long in the IBM bowl. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2010-04-28

I think it has some awesome potential for both Palm and HP.

Charles Robinson, 2010-04-28

Stuart, I owe you a more serious answer. At Palm, Todd Bradley bought Handspring. The company who had developed the Treo. Palm had a dying PDA business, and defined the smartphone. When Bradley left, former head of Handspring Ed Colligan took over. During Colligans reign, Palm failed to innovate.

Volker Weber, 2010-04-28

@Vowe You're not wrong - broadening my horizons as we speak ;-)

So the follow-on question then, do we think that HP see WebOS (or Palm technology in a wider sense) as a step towards developing an iPad competitor? Seems more likely that they are after the Palm personnel than the technology as it stands.

Stuart McIntyre, 2010-04-28

I cannot see the future as clearly as you (want). What I know is that Palm is now in good hands.

Volker Weber, 2010-04-28

I sincerely hope that this move will help WebOS to survive. Not that it's perfect, but: Every step which even slightly increases the probability that the world would finally be able to get rid of Windows Mobile is worth a try.

Sorry for this populistic comment.

Peter Daum, 2010-04-28

No need to apologize. I happen to like webOS and want to see it continue.

And don't worry about Windows Mobile. That is being eaten by Android.

Volker Weber, 2010-04-28

as much as I like any chance to kick Windows Mobile, Windows Mobile 7 is something to really watch. I got a demo of it recently and was blown away. It's nothing like the first 6 versions. Heck, its not even the same code base. They should have given it a new name. Can it survive in a world with Apple, RIM, HP, and Nokia all making mobile OS and the open platform of Android? Who knows. All have good and bad points. I think we will see 3 of them become equally dominant and the rest die off. Who are the 3? No clue - time will tell

John Head, 2010-04-28

They should have given it a new name

They have: Windows Phone

Volker Weber, 2010-04-28

The word "Windows" in "Windows Phone" is the problem here.

Thomas Gumz, 2010-04-29

I think this is great for Palm.
They have adequate hardware, a wonderful OS, and excellent dev tools.

They need cold hard cash to deliver on the promise of WebOS.

HP has the cash and the will.

Craig Wiseman, 2010-04-29

Guess that just about kills any chances of Traveler for WebOS, though/


Craig Wiseman, 2010-04-29

@Craig: Why no Traveler?

Lars Berntrop-Bos, 2010-04-29


I have heard/read that same statement above for almost every release of windows mobile software... "this one is great". So far they have all been terrible. And I have owned my share of winmob devices.

But, that being said I'm happy to take a look at it when its in the wild.

Paul Mooney, 2010-04-29

Since the news broke, I've been trying to decide what I think about the whole thing. After a bit of time to chew on it, I think its a good fit. HP paid a bit and probably had to beat out Lenovo or someone else to make the deal happen. Without any other phone hardware manufacturers seemingly interested, and HTC buddying up with Microsoft hours earlier, I don't think they had a better play. HP has a ton of cash, solid hardware, experience with tablets, a crappy phone without a lot of carrier relationships and a desire to fix that. This looks like Palms best shot.

Reid Partlow, 2010-04-29

I like it.
There is enough room for all three OSes and it helps everybody that Palm keeps Apple and Google on their toes.

Mariano Kamp, 2010-04-29

Actually it's a very logic move. HP is becoming a consumer vendor - the HP Q1 result (pdf) showed close to 17 B from 32 B from Personal Systems and Imaging and Printing Group. If you compare HP Enterprise Business and Personal Systems Group it would be 5 vs 10 without the services part (9 with half from EDS) while PSG is actually growing (again - YtY 2008-2009 looked not that good) instead of being rather flat as the other stuff. Now they follow that strategy I guess.

Martin Hiegl, 2010-04-29

@Lars Well, IBM and HP are not big fans of each other....

Craig Wiseman, 2010-04-29

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