In a deal that would jolt the sputtering computer industry, Hewlett-Packard Co. has agreed to acquire Compaq Computer Corp. in a stock-swap transaction that values Compaq at about $25 billion. Both boards have approved the transaction. The deal would result in a combination of two of the biggest names in computers, printers and computer servers.
At its most basic, the deal would bring Compaq, the world’s No. 2 maker of personal computers, under the umbrella of H-P, a distant No. 3, allowing the combined entity to be bigger than and better able to compete with leader Dell Computer Corp. But the deal would also have implications beyond the PC industry, which is witnessing one of its worst downturns in years. It threatens to bring the PC price war to the world of computer services and storage networks.
In a press release Monday, the companies said Hewlett-Packard will issue 0.6325 of a share for each Compaq share.
At 4 p.m. Friday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, shares of Hewlett-Packard were down 19 cents at $23.21, while Compaq’s stock was off 34 cents at $12.35. Both stocks hit 52-week lows on Friday, and Compaq shareholders would get only a modest premium of roughly 19% for their stock.