HP reentered the acquisition fray today with a $5 billion purchase of social gaming titan Zynga.
The surprise move comes just one day after taking an $8 billion write-down on its previous $10 billion acquisition of enterprise software concern Autonomy.
HP is offering Zynga’s existing shareholders an all cash deal at $6.32 a share, which represents a 280% premium over its closing price yesterday.
In a statement to shareholders HP CEO Meg Whitman said the deal was ‘a perfect strategic fit’:
“HP strongly believes that success in consumer printing depends on maintaining a strong identity as a consumer-focused company. Today’s purchase of Zynga solidifies HP as a consumer brand and allows us to exploit natural synergies between smartphone games and printers.”
The move comes as a surprise to analysts, who doubt the strategic logic of the deal and point to Zynga’s failing business model and poor accounting practices.
Whitman admits the difficulties surrounding her new pet project, but remains undeterred:
“We think half their revenues are probably fraudulent, but we like the other half. That’s the half we’re paying for.”