HP boss in search for $1.5bn deals

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Computer maker Hewlett-Packard could spend up to $1.5 billion (£963 million) on acquisitions as chief executive Meg Whitman tries to overcome a slide in global PC sales.

Speaking the day after HP reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales, the former Ebay boss said the group could do deals in the $100m to $300m range, adding: “We have our eye on a number of areas.”

Whitman, who took the reins at HP in September 2011, has admitted that the firm’s growth next year is unlikely to meet her expectations following a “very disappointing” performance at its business hardware division.

Dave Donatelli, replaced by chief operating officer Bill Veghte as enterprise unit head, has been given a role to seek out early-stage technologies for investment. HP posted $27.2bn of revenues for the third quarter, down from $29.7bn a year earlier and missing Wall Street forecasts of $27.3bn.

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