HP completes much-delayed tender offer for Mercury

HP has finally reached the number of share tender offers needed for its $4.5 billion acquisition of software company Mercury Interactive

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has finally completed the tender offer process for its pending acquisition of software company Mercury Interactive.

HP said Thursday that around 85.7 million shares, representing 96 percent of Mercury's outstanding shares, have been tendered to HP as of midnight U.S. Eastern Time Nov. 1. The company says the acquisition of Mercury, which will operate as a subsidiary of HP, should be completed in "several days."

HP had to extend the deadline for tendering of shares four times since first announcing the US$4.5 billion, US$52 a share, offer in July. The deal has been complicated by Mercury's incorrectly recording the value of stock-options grants and the resignations of its chief executive officer, chief financial officer and general counsel in 2005. The latest delay came Oct. 25 to give Mercury shareholders the opportunity to review quarterly revenue reports for Mercury.

HP expects the Mercury acquisition to enhance its presence in IT management software and services, potentially boosting HP's annual software revenue to more than US$2 billion.

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