Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO expects no China challenge on $14 billion Juniper Networks deal

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Chief Executive Antonio Neri told Reuters he does not foresee any major regulatory risks in China for his firm’s $14 billion bid to acquire Juniper Networks.

HPE on Tuesday offered to buy the networking firm, which makes custom networking chips and gear that can be used inside data centers to power artificial intelligence. Neri said the deal would bolster HPE’s efforts to offer the firm’s AI computing products and services to businesses that are reluctant to turn their data over to cloud computing companies.

Neri said that the deal faces little regulatory risk in China, whose antitrust officials who last year sank Intel’s to acquire Israeli chip manufacturer Tower Semiconductor. HPE last year moved to sell its stake in China-based joint venture H3C, which Neri expects to generate $3 billion in proceeds and leave HPE with little business in China.

Juniper does not disclose how much revenue it generates from China, but Neri told Reuters the activity is small enough that he expects no major challenges from Chinese regulators.

“Even if we have to go through the regulatory process, we don’t see a challenge, because their footprint in China is extremely small,” Neri said in an interview. “We believe we can close this transaction nine to 12 months.”

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco. Editing by Gerry Doyle)