Shares of Poly (NYSE: POLY), formerly known as Plantronics, jumped nearly 50% with the opening of Monday’s market. The upside action followed the striking news that the audio device maker is to be bought out by industry giant HP for a total of $1.7B in cash. It seems that the tech hardware behemoth is making a play towards the hybridization of work routines in its acquisition of Poly, which specializes in leading headsets and other audio and video devices.
The new hybrid work structure was born out of adapting to workplace restrictions and lockdowns, but many believe the new model is here to stay. The structure means that a new wave of hardware products is in high demand in order to facilitate working from home. Hence the play from HP, who clearly attest to the long-term need for these products as the hybrid model becomes more solidified. Clarified further by HP CEO Enrique Lores:
“The rise of the hybrid office creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way work gets done”
HP paid $40 for each share of Poly, representing a premium of 53% to the stock's closing price on Friday. Poly shares are currently trading at a gain of just under 50% in early Monday trading. The company is also expected to pay a fee of $66M if the deal is terminated. Should everything run accordingly, the deal is expected to close by the end of 2022.
The acquisition isn’t the first big-tech play for hybrid working, with Salesforce.com’s nearly $30B acquisition of workplace messaging app Slack Technologies remaining the most notable.
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Oliver is a financial writer and analyst specialising in the US stock market, with years of personal experience in understanding micro/macroeconomic structures, market trends and fundamental analysis.