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Is HP getting ready to swallow Bull SA?

Published reports say Hewlett Packard Corp. is getting ready to buy French systems integrator Bull SA for 720 million euros 7.5 euros per share.

Speculation on the buyout began when Capital Magazine reported that HP is in advanced discussions with Bull SA and CNN picked up the story.

Based in France, Bull SA provides system integration consulting, outsourcing, storage infrastructure, security solutions and software publishing.

Among the company’s customers are firms in the banking, finance, telecommunication and manufacturing sectors. The group has operations in the United Kingdom, the United States, Netherlands and Germany.

A spokesperson for HP said the company would not comment on rumors of a Bull SA buyout. “The company has nothing to add at this time,” the spokesperson said.

The reports come in a week when HP announced on Monday the acquisition of software company Opsware Inc., paying $1.6 billion in cash. By automating certain management tasks, Opsware reduces a company’s cost and complexity to run their data centers.

On Monday HP also said it will acquire Neoware Inc., a company based in King of Prussia, Pa. paying $214 million, or $16.25 per share. The acquisition will hasten the growth of HP’s thin client business.

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