Palo Alto, Calif. – Hewlett-Packard (HP), the Palo Alto-based computing giant, said on Thursday it will pay approximately $10.2 billion to acquire U.K. infrastructure software maker Autonomy, while also exploring the potential sale or spin-off of its own PC business.

The PC unit, known as HP’s Personal Systems Group (PSG), expanded significantly in 2002 with the company’s acquisition of Compaq, but has suffered from low margins of late. The unit produced $10.45 billion in sales last quarter – about one-third of HP’s total revenue – but posted an operating profit of just $672 million.

The moves, along with a plan to discontinue the company’s TouchPad tablet, fit in with HP’s focus to shift away from hardware and more to a software and services model.Autonomy makes database search software used by clients such as Coca-Cola, Nestle and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“We believe the acquisition of Autonomy, combined with the exploration of alternatives for PSG, would allow HP to more effectively compete and better execute its focused strategy,” said Leo Apotheker, HP’s president and CEO.

This story also ran on Bay Area Media Wire.

Related Links:

Autonomy purchase press release –

HP Personal Systems Group press release –
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