HPE has confirmed a multi-billion-dollar deal to buy Juniper Networks as it looks to boost its AI ambitions.
As reported earlier this week, the HPE-Juniper Networks deal would be not just the first big acquisition of 2024, but also be one of the highest-value tech industry takeovers of recent years, highlighting the importance of machine learning and AI to the major players in the market.
In its press release announcing the news, HPE noted that the deal would help “accelerate AI-driven innovation”, as well as doubling its networking business.
“The combination of HPE and Juniper advances HPE’s portfolio mix shift toward higher-growth solutions and strengthens its high-margin networking business, accelerating HPE’s sustainable profitable growth strategy,” the company added.
Networking will be a major focus of the deal, with current Juniper CEO Rami Rahim set to lead the newly-combined HPE networking business, which the firms say will work on, “delivering next-generation AI-native networking and enable new digital experiences through secure, intelligent connectivity.”
“HPE’s acquisition of Juniper represents an important inflection point in the industry and will change the dynamics in the networking market and provide customers and partners with a new alternative that meets their toughest demands,” said HPE President and CEO Antonio Neri.
“This transaction will strengthen HPE’s position at the nexus of accelerating macro-AI trends, expand our total addressable market, and drive further innovation for customers as we help bridge the AI-native and cloud-native worlds, while also generating significant value for shareholders. I am excited to welcome Juniper’s talented employees to our team as we bring together two companies with complementary portfolios and proven track records of driving innovation within the industry.”
Best known for its cloud offerings, HPE was spun off from parent company HP in 2015, with the latter focusing on its well-known hardware portfolio spanning PCs, laptops, printers and other computing accessories.
Founded in 1996, Juniper Networks has grown rapidly in the past few decades due its successful networking product line-up, including routers, switches, and security products, which have become a common sight in technology and telecoms firms around the world.
But the company also runs Mist AI, its increasingly popular AI and machine learning business, which has been working on using the technology to improve and optimize wireless access for users across the globe.
“Our multi-year focus on innovative, secure AI-native solutions has driven Juniper Networks’ outstanding performance,” Rahim said. “We have successfully delivered exceptional user experiences and simplified operations, and by joining HPE, I believe we can accelerate the next phase of our journey. In addition, this combination maximizes value for our shareholders through a meaningful all-cash premium. We look forward to working with the talented HPE team to drive innovation for enterprise, service provider and cloud customers across all domains, including campus, branch, data center and the wide area network.”
The deal is expected to close in late 2024 or early 2025, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.