HP Acquires Audio Device Pioneer Plantronics for $1.7 Billion

Hewlett-Packard Inc., better known as HP, has reportedly acquired audio and video device maker Plantronics, now known as Poly, in an all-cash deal worth $1.7 billion, while including debt the deal is valued at $3.3 billion.

Reuters reported that the acquisition comes after HP decided to capitalize on ‘hybrid work’ offerings that increased demand for products such as headsets or video conferencing hardware.

The Register stated:

[The company] sees the future of its business as one supporting a workforce partially based at home and partially in the office, and appears to have bought office telecom giant Poly for that reason.

HP offered $40 for each share of Poly, representing a premium of approximately 53% to the stock’s last closing price. Chief Executive Officer at HP, Enrique Lores, stated:

The rise of the hybrid office creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way work gets done.

HP has not yet specified whether Poly would still operate as a distinct brand or retain its CEO. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2022.

The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the need for hybrid work, resulting in multiple acquisitions such as Salesforce.com’s $27.7 billion acquisition of workplace messaging app Slack in 2021.

Once news of the acquisition spread, Poly’s shares rose 49% in premarket trade. If the deal is terminated, the company is expected to pay a fee of $66 million.

Plantronics and Polycom products have had a long-standing history dating back to early airline headsets and the Apollo 11 moon landing mission.

The deal is expected to close at the end of this year. The report states:

HP described the $3.3 billion purchase ($40 per share) as a bid to refocus its portfolio on growth and take advantage of what it said is a massive growth opportunity due to the likely permanence of hybrid work.