Comdisco to Sell Unit to SunGard Data Systems but HP Says "Not So Fast!"

Comdisco, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, has agreed to sell its Availability Solutions Business to SunGard Data Systems for $825 million. However, Comdisco had originally agreed to sell the unit, which specializes in disaster-recovery, to Hewlett-Packard (HP) in July for $600 million. But the SunGard agreement is the result of a court-authorized auction and subject to approval by US bankruptcy courts. HP is not ready to give up its bid, however, claiming that the company needs to consider significant antitrust concerns before approving the sale.

IBM, Comdisco, and SunGard are the top three players in the industry, controlling about 80 percent of the market. SunGard's purchase of Comdisco would give the company a significant competitive advantage in an industry whose importance has increased since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

HP is still interested in the unit and plans to take part in an October 23 bankruptcy-court hearing that will finalize bids for the sale. The sale must pass a Justice Department review, giving HP an advantage because regulators have already approved the company's bid. The Justice Department is currently investigating SunGard's bid.

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