Hewlett-Packard Acquires Vertica; Terms Undisclosed

Hewlett-Packard Co. agreed to buy Vertica, adding technology that will help customers analyze large and growing quantities of digital data.

The transaction is expected to close in the second fiscal quarter, which ends around the last day of April, Palo Alto, California-based HP said today in a statement. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Vertica, based in Billerica, Massachusetts, provides software that helps businesses pore through massive amounts of information, said Shane Robison, HP’s chief strategy and technology officer. Under Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker and Chairman Ray Lane, HP aims to capitalize on the explosion of data delivered via the Internet and data centers.

Under former CEO Mark Hurd, HP had developed its own data-analysis software, called NeoView. It never caught on. The company informed customers Jan. 24 that it’s no longer actively selling the software, said Michael Thacker, an HP spokesman.

The Vertica deal is important to HP in light of its lack of success with NeoView, said Jayson Noland, an analyst at Robert W. Baird in San Francisco.

“This is a financially small acquisition, but strategically meaningful,” Noland said today in a report. He has an “outperform” rating on HP shares.

Groupon, Twitter

Vertica is used by more than 300 customers, including Groupon Inc., Twitter Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Bank of America Corp. Founded in 2005 by CEO Andrew Palmer and Chief Technology Officer Michael Stonebraker, Vertica had raised $23.5 million in financing as of Feb. 14, 2007.

Lane, then a general partner at Vertica investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, served as a special adviser to Vertica, the company said at the time.

In 2007 and 2008, HP sat on the sidelines during a wave of acquisitions of data-analysis software makers that saw Oracle Corp., SAP AG and International Business Machines Corp. make multibillion-dollar deals. Oracle bought Hyperion Solutions in 2007 for $3.3 billion, while IBM bought Cognos in 2008 for $4.9 billion and SPSS the following year for $1.2 billion. SAP bought Business Objects in 2008 for $6.8 billion.

Several companies in the industry remain independent, including Teradata Corp., Informatica Corp., MicroStrategy Inc., Tibco Software Inc. and closely held SAS Institute Inc.

HP fell 33 cents to $48.31 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have risen 15 percent this year.

Cisco Systems Inc., the world’s largest network-equipment company, projects that global Internet traffic will increase fourfold through 2014 from 2009.

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