04:38 AM

HP Acquires 3Com for $2.7 billion - But Some Fishy Trades

Hewlett-Packard said it agreed to acquire 3Com for $2.7bn or $2.70 a share. It represents a 40% premium.

The acquisition is part of HP's efforts to boost its data center strategy.

Sramana Mitra writes:

3Com's China cost-structure has got to be the biggest driver, making it attractive for HP to hit Cisco where it really hurts. HP's global channel will give 3Com's products an excellent reach into the heart of enterprise and SME networks, as companies look to reduce total cost of ownership across the board.

She says that 3Com has executed a very good turnaround. She predicts that Cisco's margins will suffer because of increased competition from HP and others.

The deal should be completed in the first half of 2010.

Dan Primack, writing at PEHub reports that there are signs of some unusual trading activity in 3Com shares.

It's a good thing the SEC is off for Veteran's Day, or else it would be busy trying to sort through the slew of inside traders. First, 3Com's stock price has been steadily raising for the past few days -- as Dan Frommer points out -- for no discernable reason.