HP's CSC Play: A Milestone Deal?
Posted by: Peter Burrows on January 05, 2006
I don’t have any inside scoop on whether the talk of HP and private equity firms teaming up to buy CSC is correct. But I wonder if HP and its would-be partners might have hit upon a pioneering new approach to M&A—one with very interesting potential benefits to both parties.
Here’s what I’m thinking. For their part, Blackstone and its private equity partners get the benefit of a likely buyer—which must be a nice comfort, given fears that there’s far too much private equity money chasing too few worthy opportunities. And HP could get the benefits of an acquisition without a massive initial outlay of cash or equity, and potentially much better terms should it decide to buy the entire company.
For starters, CSC’s new owners would obviously have HP in mind as they do their cost-cutting LBO thing, in an effort to make it as appealing as possible for HP to buy down the road. And while the deal as of now looks to be dilutive, HP may think it can lift its earnings multiple in the meantime so that it might be able to buy the remainder of CSC on better terms in the future.
Maybe I’m missing something. In fact, given that I’m just a humble tech reporter and not a high-finance genius, I’m probably missing something. If so, please let me know.