Micro Focus to become largest UK tech firm after HP deal approved

Micro Focus shareholders have approved the takeover of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business, a deal that will create Britain’s largest technology company. The company won 99.9pc approval for the deal at a shareholder meeting on Friday, the final hurdle towards the transaction. Once the $8.8bn (£6.9bn) reverse-takeover is completed on September 1, Micro Focus will be worth almost twice as much as Sage, currently Britain’s largest listed tech company with a market capitalisation of £7.7bn.

As part of the deal, announced in a surprise move last September, the Newbury-based company will take on the remaining assets of Autonomy, the British software company HP bought in 2011. The $11.1bn deal is widely regarded as one of the worst technology acquisitions on record. Since then, HP has split its software and server business from its struggling hardware division under chief executive Meg Whitman. Shares in Micro Focus, whose software supports legacy software for banks and retailers, dipped earlier this month following news that HP Enterprise’s software sales had fallen by 10pc in three months to the end of April. Micro Focus acquired Serena Software for $540m last year and Attachmate for $1.2bn back in 2014.

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