While the FTSE-100 index in plunging Friday amidst a global sell-off ignited by fears of a global recession (after Thursday’s drop), UK software maker Autonomy is surging 79 percent after Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) said it agreed to buy the company for $10.3 billion.
As of 7:45 a.m. (New York time), the FTSE-100 was down 1.9 percent, following a 4.5 percent plummet Thursday.
The index is in danger of slipping below the 5,000 level for the first time in thirteen months. Since the end of June, the FTSE has lost 14 percent in value, wiping out $300-billion.
Thus, the Autonomy deal is one of the few bright spots among British equities.
According to reports, should the HP-Autonomy deal close, it would be the second largest deal involving software companies, after the $13.5-billion transaction between Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) and Veritas in 2005.
According to BBC, if the transaction is completed, Autonomy's founder and chief executive Mike Lynch, who owns an 8.2 percent stake in the company, could walk away with £582-million ($960-million).
Lynch stated: This is a momentous day in Autonomy's history. From our foundation in 1996, we have been driven by one shared vision -- to fundamentally change the IT industry by revolutionizing the way people interact with information.
However, Shai Vyakarnum, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning in Cambridge, told BBC he was surprised by the proposed merger.
“I wasn't aware that Mike and his board were looking to exit, he said. But I suppose with the stock markets where they are, perhaps in their view [this was] undervaluing the company. I think from Mike's point of view, from the bedroom in 1993 of his college in Cambridge through to an exit of this kind, this is personally very good.”