Seattle-based supercomputer maker Cray has signed a $ 1.3 billion Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) acquisition. The companies said Friday.
The purchase price, $ 35 per share, is 17.4% above which Cray's shares stood at
The acquisition, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, will combine Cray's supercomputing strength and market position in academia and government, with HPE's broader portfolio including leading position in high performance computing and listing of commercial clients. Both players navigate a computing landscape that has been elevated over the past decade by the advent of cloud like computing from likes like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.
"The Cray supplement will increase HPE's ability to pursue high-end acquisitions and will speed up the combined company's development of next-generation technologies that will benefit [high-performance computing] and AI machine learning customers at all price points," says Steve Conway , senior vice president of Hyperion Research Holdings, which advises companies on these technologies.
Cray has recently won three major US government contracts, including one to build what would be the world's fastest and most expensive supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Institute of Energy Laboratory The new system, called "Frontier", represents a new "exascale" data scenario where systems occupy and analyze massive amounts of data, and perform more than a quarter of a million computations per second to solve complex models of things such as fusion energy and the global climate. [1
He added that Cray is a core engineering firm that will benefit from HPE's size and global reach as it continues to develop its "exascale" systems. "The ability to invest in that roadmap will be significantly enhanced by HPE's scale and financial strength, as well as product range and exciting technology," Ungaro said.
Ungaro owns about 2% of Cray, a stake of nearly $ 28.5 million at the acquisition price. Cray's largest owners are investment giant BlackRock, with 14.7% of the company, The Vanguard Group (10.2%) and Dimensional Fund Advisors (5%).
Cray seemed to recover from a period of loss and job cuts in 2016 and 2017 as a result of what Ungaro described as a decline in the market. The company's revenue increased by 16% in 2018 to $ 455.9 million.
Cray did not immediately respond to questions about the future at his Seattle headquarters, where about 120 of his 1,300 employees work.
The company was founded in 1972 by Seymour Cray, a supercomputing pioneer, in his hometown of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, where it still produces computers today. The company, known as Cray Research, merged with Silicon Graphics in 1996, and was then sold to Seattle-based Tera Computer Company, which renamed Cray Inc.
HPE, based in San Jose, California, is one of two companies which resulted from the 2015 part of Hewlett Packard. The other retained HP's print and personnel system operations.