Although a week ago Palm’s CEO Jon Rubinstein still believed that “Palm can survive as an independent company” (FT), Palm was already up for sale and it was pretty obvious they would quickly find a buyer.

And they did. The company announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with HP, under which HP will purchase Palm at an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion.

The transaction has been approved by the HP and Palm boards of directors.

“The combination of HP’s global scale and financial strength with Palm’s unparalleled webOS platform will enhance HP’s ability to participate more aggressively in the fast-growing, highly profitable smartphone and connected mobile device markets,” according to the press release.

The companies claim that Palm’s webOS will allow HP to take advantage of features such as “true multitasking” and “always up-to-date information sharing across applications.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Palm stockholders will receive $5.70 in cash for each share of Palm common stock that they hold at the closing of the merger.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of domestic and foreign regulatory approvals and the approval of Palm’s stockholders. The companies informed that the transaction is expected to close during HP’s third fiscal quarter ending July 31, 2010.

Palm’s current chairman and CEO, Jon Rubinstein, is expected to remain with the company.

According to HP’s executive vice president Todd Bradley, Palm’s OS provides an ideal platform to expand HP’s mobility strategy and create a “unique” HP experience spanning multiple mobile connected devices.”

“And, Palm possesses significant IP assets and has a highly skilled team. The smartphone market is large, profitable and rapidly growing, and companies that can provide an integrated device and experience command a higher share. Advances in mobility are offering significant opportunities, and HP intends to be a leader in this market,” he said.

Jon Rubinstein said: “We’re thrilled by HP’s vote of confidence in Palm’s technological leadership, which delivered Palm webOS and iconic products such as the Palm Pre. HP’s longstanding culture of innovation, scale and global operating resources make it the perfect partner to rapidly accelerate the growth of webOS.”

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