Hewlett-Packard said on Thursday it would acquire 3Com Corp. for $2.7 billion, or $7.90 a share.

3Com is set to bring a wide-ranging portfolio of network switching, routing and security solutions to the computer and laptop maker.

The technology will also boost HP's already potent networking offerings, which are centered in HP Procurve.

By acquiring 3Com, we are accelerating the execution of our converged infrastructure strategy and bringing disruptive change to the networking industry, HP executive vice president Dave Donatelli said in a statement.

Hewlett-Packard said it was making the acquisition to transform the networking industry and underscore H-P's next-generation data center strategy.

Our extensive product line and innovative technology together with HP's breadth and scale will expand our global opportunity, said 3Com chief executive officer Bob Mao.

Hewlett-Packard also reported profit today, excluding some items, of $1.14 a share in the fiscal fourth quarter. That topped the average estimate of $1.11 in a Bloomberg survey.