HP wants to buy the Stairway to Heaven

After announcing results which proved that her restructuring was not fixing HP’s death spiral, CEO Meg Whitman told the world that she wants to go on a shopping spree, buying up companies.

She said she has begun shopping for companies of up to $1.5 billion after a flurry of outsized purchases in past years.

Whitman told the FT  that the company could also do deals in the $100 million to $300 million range.

She did not specify any particular targets but claimed she had her eye on a number of areas.

Acquisitions will become part of HP’s future, to further some of its strategic initiatives and shore up some of the product holes, she said.

Whitman said that HP did not need a five or six billion dollar acquisition, but there might be a few acquisitions in the $100 million, $300 million range and some up to $1-$1.5 billion that the maker of expensive printer ink might be interested in.

She ruled out the idea of breaking up HP or selling assets.

Whitman said that HP was the only company that can go from devices to infrastructure to services to software and this is a huge point of difference.

HP has been building itself up through a series of buys costing at least $1 billion over the past few years. It bought outsourcing firm EDS in 2008, 3Com in 2009, Palm, 3PAR and security software maker ArcSight in 2010; and big-data analytics firm Autonomy in 2011.

It is probably wishing it did not buy EDS, Palm and Autonomy. Whitman said that after the Autonomy deal HP was being incredibly measured and disciplined about what it buys.

“Acquisitions are going to have to be a part of how we turn this company around”, she said.