Falling Startup Valuations Help Companies on M&A, Whitman Says

HPE's Meg Whitman on Split From HP and M&A in Tech

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman said falling valuations among closely held startups are good for public companies like hers as she looks at potential acquisition targets.

“Many of us predicted that there would be a correction in the value of some of these startup companies,” Whitman said Wednesday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “So, I think it’s advantageous for companies like Hewlett Packard because the valuations will be more reasonable.”

Valuations are changing as investors rethink their prospects. Earlier this year Fidelity Investments marked down the value of its holdings in Canadian startup Hootsuite Media Inc., Dropbox Inc., web performance and cybersecurity company CloudFlare Inc., electronic signature technology maker DocuSign Inc. and data center hardware and software makers Nutanix Inc.

While Whitman has been seeking to reduce the size of HP Enterprise, which sells corporate computers and software, she said she’s looking at potential targets while trying to navigate a market moving toward cloud-based services. The company will consider acquisitions in complementary areas “at the right price,” she said during the interview.

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