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HP Buys Poly in $3.3 Billion Remote-Work Gear Deal

(Bloomberg) -- HP Inc. has agreed to buy Poly, formerly known as Plantronics Inc., in a $3.3 billion deal that will help the laptop-maker further capitalize on the pivot to hybrid work.

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The all-cash transaction gives Poly’s shareholders $40 a share, a 53% premium to its closing share price Friday, the two companies said in a statement Monday. The $3.3 billion price tag refers to Poly’s enterprise value, which includes debt.

Acquiring Poly, which sells phone headsets and audio and video accessories, will help HP better meet customer demand, according to HP Chief Executive Officer Enrique Lores. Plantronics changed its name to Poly in 2019, a year after buying Polycom for $2 billion.

HP aims to tap a growing need for technology that connects remote workers to office staff, as companies around the world accommodate employees accustomed to Covid-era flexibility. The PC giant is also working to diversify beyond personal computers and printers into ancillary businesses.

​“The rise of the hybrid office creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way work gets done,” Lores said in a statement. “Poly’s strong technology, complementary go-to-market, and talented team will help to drive long-term profitable growth as we continue building a stronger HP.”

Read more: San Francisco Bay Area Firms Pull More Workers Back to Office

PC makers, including HP and Dell, have gotten a lift in the past year and a half from sales of equipment needed to support the pandemic-fueled surge in working and studying from home. As Covid-19 cases remain low in many regions, companies have begun plotting their returns to the office, prompting them to outfit their work sites with new equipment.

But Poly has, like many companies, struggled to secure the components to build enough products to meet increasing demand, Lores said in an interview. Combining with HP will help alleviate that issue, he added.

“Their growth has been impacted by the supply chain challenge. This is where we think the scale that we bring will help to address some of these challenges,” Lores said.

HP expects to finance the deal through cash and new debt and complete its takeover by the end of 2022, pending shareholder and regulatory approval. It’s projecting annual growth for Poly of about 15% in the first three years after the deal closes. The transaction will be immediately accretive, Lores said, and won’t impact HP’s ability to continue to return cash to its shareholders.

Read more: Wall Street Brings Bankers Back to Offices Remade for Hybrid Era

HP’s shares fell 4.7% in New York on Monday morning.

(Updates to reflect company name change. Adds shares.)

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