Re: Only in the business world
> An $8bn company starts talking about buying a $27bn company. Reality stares back and says "Nope". [...]
> The whole affair is nonsense.
That was my initial reaction too. But I grabbed quick snapshot of HP's debt + D/E history, D/E is currently around 1 and perhaps lower if ElReg's noted imminent changes are not embedded in that number, which puts the post-takeover D/E between 4 & 5. (ie, the company is ~80-85% debt, the shareholders only have 15-20% of the company.)
Which from a real-world risk perspective is sphincter-puckering, but in the surreal world of top-end privileged-sector US companies is not all that uncommon.
As an example, HP itself had a D/E ratio over 7 in the last decade (~90% debt)
Also note that HP apparently already has reasonably solid confidence of raising the finance without even needing to resort to bond issue.