Will HP Steal Sybase From SAP?
Is SAP paying too much for Sybase? Some have argued that $65 per share in cash–56 percent above Sybase’s Tuesday closing price–is a bit dear for a company whose stock hasn’t really topped $50 since the mid-’90s. But SAP (SAP) likely has a very good reason for offering it: Preempting a rival bid from Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which, according to Cowen analyst Peter Goldmacher, can’t afford not to buy Sybase (SY).
“We believe that Hewlett Packard could emerge as a buyer for Sybase. Sybase’s core offerings revolve around data, analytics and mobile, three critical holes in HP’s current software strategy,” Goldmacher wrote in a note to clients today.
“HP has $12.4B (incl Palm) in cash on the balance sheet and the deal is $0.03 accretive to earnings at a 10 percent premium to SAP’s purchase price of $65,” the analyst explained. “If HP doesn’t buy Sybase, it loses its last chance to be a relevant standalone competitor in data management and risks falling further behind enterprise data management titans Oracle and IBM.”
Evidently Goldmacher doesn’t put much stock in HP’s three-year cloud-computing alliance with Microsoft (MSFT) as an enterprise data play. An acquisition of Sybase, though–well that’s a different story. That would go a long way toward making HP a data management contender and, thanks to its recent acquisition of Palm, a leading mobile enterprise company. Here’s Goldmacher again:
We love the Palm acquisition because it enables HP to create a mobile platform that is not just Windows on yet another form factor. The ability to leverage the Sybase Unwired Platform on its own hardware and OS as well as any and all third party platforms immediately makes HP a massive competitor in the mobile space. We believe that having an open hardware and software solution will catalyze the arrival of broad-based enterprise mobile apps by offering customers an enterprise class, platform agnostic, standards-based solution.