HPE shareholders now own 50.1pc of the combined group, whose staff numbers have now quadrupled and revenue doubled. The deal sees Chris Hsu, who ran the HPE Software business, take over as Micro Focus chief executive, although executive chairman Kevin Loosemore will continue to have a hands-on role.
Micro Focus, which specialises in maintaining and updating the out-of-fashion IT systems and software that is still used in retailers, banks and elsewhere, has grown steadily through well-timed acquisitions, focusing on cutting costs and improving margins instead of breakneck revenue growth.
The HPE software business it has acquired includes the remnants of Autonomy, the British tech group Hewlett Packard bought in 2011 for $11.7bn. The deal soured a year later when HP wrote off billions of dollars and accused its former management of inflating the company’s value.