HP Said to Consider Tibco, Teradata Purchase Before Autonomy

Hewlett-Packard Co. considered buying Tibco Software Inc. and Teradata Corp. before pursuing the U.K.’s Autonomy Corp., said people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Hewlett-Packard approached Tibco this year, indicating it could make a per-share offer in the high $30s, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the details aren’t public. Tibco Chief Executive Officer Vivek Ranadive held out for a higher bid, telling the board he could get the stock to the proposed price range without a takeover, the person said.

Tibco, which sells software to companies that connect applications, had sales of $216.4 million in the second quarter ended in May, up 25 percent from a year earlier. Net income grew 64 percent to $21 million at the Palo Alto, California-based company. The stock slipped 58 cents, or 3 percent, to $18.49 as of 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading.

Hewlett-Packard also examined Dayton, Ohio-based software maker Teradata before approaching Autonomy in April, said some of the people. Teradata, which provides data warehousing technologies and services, had $581 million in sales in the second quarter ended in June, up 24 percent from the previous year. Profits rose 39 percent to $103 million.

Yesterday, Hewlett-Packard announced it agreed to buy Cambridge, England-based Autonomy for $10.3 billion. Autonomy CEO Michael Lynch, who has known Hewlett-Packard chief Leo Apotheker since his days at the helm of SAP AG, entered talks with the company without seeking competing bids because it had performed well independently, lessening the need for a sale, the people said.

U.S., Europe Woes

Bill Wohl, a spokesman for Hewlett-Packard, declined to comment. David Patterson, a spokesman for Teradata, and Autonomy’s U.S.-based spokeswoman Winifred Shum also declined to comment.

Hewlett-Packard had hesitated about whether to pursue the Autonomy deal after Standard & Poor’s lowered the U.S.’s credit rating this month and global markets declined amid the widening European sovereign-debt crisis, the people said.

The Palo Alto, California-based company declined $5.91, or 20 percent, to $23.60 as of 4 p.m. on the New York Stock Exchange, the steepest decline in more than 23 years. Teradata dropped $2.07, or 4.6 percent, to $43.35.

Hewlett-Packard, whose debt financing for the deal was arranged by Barclays Plc, is using part of its cash abroad for the acquisition, said the people.

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