HP to acquire software company Opsware for $1.6B

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In a move to enhance its business-software offerings, Hewlett-Packard has signed a definitive agreement to purchase data center automation software company Opsware Inc. for about $1.6 billion.

The deal is the latest strategic software acquisition by HP whose goal is to expand its leadership in business-technology optimization. By combining Opsware's services with HP's enterprise IT management software, the company will be able to offer a comprehensive and integrated service for IT automation.

"The acquisition of Opsware is intended to enable HP Software to help our customers resolve one of their critical pain points: controlling the increasing complexity and cost of managing the data center," said Thomas E. Hogan, senior vice president at HP Software, in a statement.

Other recent strategic HP deals include the acquisitions of Mercury Interactive and Peregrine Systems.

Following the close of the transaction, Opsware will become part of the HP Software business. Palo Alto, CA-based HPáalso expects Sunnyvale, CA-based Opsware CEO Ben Horowitz to lead its business technology optimization organization and report to Hogan.

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