Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) confirmed a rumoured deal to buy Juniper Networks, agreeing a $14 billion acquisition it expects to boost its edge-to-cloud strategy and better position it in the era of AI.

The deal had been the subject of media speculation earlier this week, with reports at that stage pinning the value at $13 billion.

In a statement, HPE claimed combining the pair’s assets would “supercharge” its “edge-to-cloud strategy with an ability to lead in an AI-native environment based on a foundational cloud-native architecture”.

The company added the upgraded AI portfolio was expected to “create better user and operator experiences, benefitting customers’ high-performance networks and cloud data centres”.

After completion, HPE indicated it would be able to target Juniper Networks’ enterprise, cloud and communications service provider customers with a wider range of products.

Juniper Networks will be incorporated into HPE’s networking business, which will be led by the former’s CEO Rami Rahim.

HPE president and CEO Antonio Neri said the move “represents an important inflection point in the industry and will change the dynamics in the networking market”, adding it would strengthen its “position at the nexus of accelerating macro-AI trends, expand our total addressable market, and drive further innovation for customers as we help bridge the AI-native and cloud-native worlds”.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete in late 2024 or early 2025. The combination is expected to achieve annual operating savings of $450 million within 36 months of closing.