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Saturday, December 3, 2022
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Hewlett-Packard to Buy Poly: A Video Conferencing Company


HP logo | Image by Manuel Esteban

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HP Inc. announced a blockbuster deal that let it acquire Poly, a worldwide provider of conference phones, video conferencing, and headsets, for $3.3 billion, or $40 per share. HP made the move to boost its hybrid office business.

California-based HP stated that it intends to boost its peripheral offerings since the global pandemic caused a drastic increase in work-from-home and hybrid office needs. HP’s CEO and president, Enrique Lores, says the rise of hybrid offices has created an opportunity to redefine how work gets done. According to him, combining Poly and HP creates a great portfolio of hybrid office work solutions for large, growing markets.

What is Poly?

Poly, formerly Polycom and Plantronics, is an audio and video conferencing company that offers office-based computer peripherals.

Today, Poly is known for powering “authentic human collaboration and connection.” It sifts through millions of verbal and non-verbal cues to get meaning and finds new ways of injecting cues into video and audio communication to mimic the face-to-face experience.

A Great Move for HP

This is not the first such move HP has made, as the company also bought HyperX gaming peripherals for $425 million the previous year. The company specializes in gaming headsets for console systems and PCs.

HP plans to use a combination of new debt and balance sheet cash to finance this acquisition. According to HP, the acquisition will be a real win-win.

Poly will get a meaningful portfolio for the future, and HP will achieve its goals of delivering hybrid work. The company will upsell and cross-sell all the new innovative solutions that it has in store together with Poly.

Dave Shull, Poly’s CEO, stated that the acquisition will provide a chance for both parties to expand their businesses. They can now scale to reach new channels and markets, which will help supercharge their innovation with a like-minded partner.

The transaction also offers value for Poly’s shareholders. It demonstrates the hard work that the teams have done to rise to a recognized leadership level where they can help businesses worldwide meet the challenges of a generational disruption in how people work.

Per HP’s estimation, three out of four office workers and their bosses are now looking to enhance their home setups to incorporate new ways of working.

Businesses are also configuring traditional office spaces to support collaboration and hybrid work. The company is therefore focusing on meeting-room solutions.

HP estimates that under 10% of company meeting rooms are equipped with video capability. The company also believes that by 2024, office meeting room solutions will triple. The acquisition is a smart move since it will address a bigger part of the solution.

It is also consistent with HP’s strategy. This will help cover what shortcomings HyperX has, including addressing the business needs of video. This also brings a one-stop shopping experience for both parties closer.

HP expects to finalize the acquisition before the year ends once it gets the go-sign from Poly shareholders as well as federal regulators.

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