Martin Wolf News

November 1, 2011


Marty Wolf's Commentary on HP's Decision to Keep its PC Business  

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Last Thursday, HP made the dramatic and pragmatic announcement that the company will keep its PC division. On Friday, we provided a Martin Wolf Spotlight on the topic outlining why we supported the decision.
Marty Tight
Today, I want to offer further explanation on why this was absolutely the right thing to do. It comes down to two words: Enterprise Value.

As you know, we're in the business of finding enterprise value in companies for buyers and sellers. I've always said that a business is worth the most to the company that can do the most with it.

In my view, Meg Whitman and team analyzed its PC division and concluded that no one can do more with HP's PC business than HP.

I agree, and here's why:
  • HP's PC business helps fuel its hugely successful printer business and its equally lucrative ink fulfillment business;
  • HP has created a thriving ecosystem for its PCs and PC-related products with favorable purchasing arrangements with suppliers and a strong retail distribution channel that no one else can take advantage of;
  • Over the years, HP's venerable business brand has become a vibrant consumer brand;
  • Where PCs actually start and stop has become an increasingly blurry line, so the idea that HP's PC business could be somehow surgically removed from the company without harming the patient is improbable; and 
  • Successful enterprise sales often depend on a company having a full spectrum of products, from servers to desktops and laptops and now tablets.
For these and other reasons, HP's retention of its PC business is the right enterprise value decision.

Further, Meg Whitman has demonstrated her leadership while setting the stage for a strategy for revitalizing HP. With this decision Whitman showed us:
  • She can mobilize her executive team to make an important and complex decision quickly - within 30 days and ahead of schedule; 
  • She can make decisions and talk about them with clarity;
  • She can eliminate uncertainty that was giving competitors an advantage and in so doing, bring stability to the company, its ecosystem and the market; and 
  • She can empower the talented people of the HP PC business to get back to work.
To be sure, in recent years, HP's PC business has not kept pace with a rapidly evolving market and products. But that was then, and Meg is now.

Now let's see what's next. I suspect it will be an improved market value.

Happy Selling,
Marty's Signature

Press Release:

Please click here to read the press release.  


To learn more about this transaction or our firm, contact Yousif Abudra at [email protected]  or (925) 215-2760.   

About Martin Wolf  


Based in Silicon Valley, Martin Wolf is a leading middle market M&A Advisory focused on companies with services-based business models. Since 1997, our team has completed more than 100 transactions in six countries. We are a five-year member of the Merrill Lynch PS Referral Network, and were selected as ICICI Bank's (India's leading private bank) exclusive strategic partner for acquiring U.S. IT companies. For more information, visit


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Please click here to view the announcement. 


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Please click here to


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Please click here to read more.

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