HPE’s $14B Acquisition of Juniper Networks under Review by UK Competition Authority

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HPE’s planned $14 billion acquisition of Juniper Networks, announced in January, has run into a potential snag: the UK government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the deal and “whether the creation of that situation may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services.”

This is phase 1 of the investigation and will last until Wednesday, Aug. 14, when the CMA will announce if it will move the inquiry into a second phase. In its statement, the CMA said it “invites comments on the transaction from any interested party,” with the comment period closing July 3.

In its January announcement of the proposed deal, HPE said it will acquire the AI-native networks company in an all-cash transaction for $40 per share, an equity value of approximately $14 billion. Juniper, based in Sunnyvale, CA and begun 28 years ago, is a networking products company whose portfolio includes routers, switches, network management software, network security products, and software-defined networking (SDN) technology. It reported 2023 revenue of $5.6 billion.

HPE said in January that “the explosion of AI and hybrid cloud-driven business is accelerating demand for secure, unified technology solutions that connect, protect, and analyze companies’ data from edge to cloud. These trends, and AI specifically, will continue to be the most disruptive workloads for companies, and HPE has been aligning its portfolio to capitalize on these substantial IT trends with networking as a critical connective component.”

Under the planned acquisition, HPE said Juniper CEO Rami Rahim will lead the combined HPE networking business, reporting to HPE CEO Antonio Neri.

“Our multi-year focus on innovative, secure AI-native solutions has driven Juniper Networks’ outstanding performance,” said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. “We have successfully delivered exceptional user experiences and simplified operations, and by joining HPE, I believe we can accelerate the next phase of our journey. In addition, this combination maximizes value for our shareholders through a meaningful all-cash premium. We look forward to working with the talented HPE team to drive innovation for enterprise, service provider and cloud customers across all domains, including campus, branch, data center and the wide area network.”

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