When the markets opened yesterday, investors certainly liked the look of the Micro Focus deal. Shares were up by 21pc in early trading, making the company, which only joined the FTSE last week, one of the largest tech companies in the UK.

The merged business will be 50.1pc own by Hewlett Packard’s shareholders, but will be controlled from Micro Focus’s Newbury headquarters, and will be, in effect, a British company. As well as the shareholding, HP will get $2.5bn in cash.

Perhaps most ironically of all, it will see a chunk of the assets of Mike Lynch’s Autonomy – the UK software firm HP controversially acquired for $11bn in 2011, and which degenerated into a mess of bitterly contested lawsuits – return to UK management.

It represents a stunning rise for Micro Focus. A relatively little known business until quite recently, under its executive chairman Kevin Loosemore it has leap-frogged to the top of its industry.



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