HP completes Synstar purchase

Hewlett-Packard has completed its £163m acquisition of UK-based IT services company Synstar.

Hewlett-Packard has completed its £163m acquisition of UK-based IT services company Synstar.

HP first announced plans to purchase the 2,600-employee company in August, saying that it would strengthen its support, managed services and business continuity services offerings in Europe.

The EC approved the deal one month later, saying it would not significantly affect HP's share of the IT marketplace.

HP has been focused on balancing its customer portfolio in the services space and has been constraining its growth in the area, according to its chief executive Carly Fiorina.

"We will not take on customer engagements that we don't think we can make reasonable money at. We will not take on customer engagements where we think the customer is perhaps unrealistic about what's impossible. We have been very focused on balancing our portfolio," Fiorina said.

Synstar is the third service-related acquisition HP has made in recent months. In May it took over US company ManageOne and CEC Europe Service Management.

"We have become, in the past two years, the clear alternative to IBM in the managed services or outsourcing space," Fiorina said.

Synstar operates in the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The company has around 1,500 customers and reported a consolidated profit of £8.7m on revenue of £223m for the year ended 30 September 2003.

Robert McMillan writes for IDG News Service

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