Dell to buy Quest Software for $2.4 billion

Mon Jul 2, 2012 12:05pm EDT
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By Nicola Leske and Supantha Mukherjee

(Reuters) - Dell Inc will buy IT management company Quest Software Inc for $2.4 billion to expand its software business and decrease its dependence on the declining personal computer market.

Dell said on Monday it will pay $28 per share, trumping a bid from private investment firm Insight Ventures, adding that it expects the deal to close in the third quarter of its fiscal year 2013, which started February 4.

Dell sparked a bidding war in June when it offered $25.50 per share for Quest, an enterprise management software maker, topping Insight's initial offer in March of $23 per share.

Despite the bidding war, Brian White, an analyst at Topeka Capital Markets, said Dell paid a reasonable price in line with Street estimates of 17 times 2012 earnings per share and 15 times 2013 EPS.

Dell has said its corporate software and services business will show average annual growth of 10 percent until fiscal 2016.

The Round Rock, Texas-based company has been diversifying its revenue base in the face of weakened consumer demand, giving up low-margin sales to consumers and moving into higher-margin areas, such as catering to the technology needs of small and medium businesses in the public sector and the healthcare industry.

The company has found itself lagging larger rivals such as Hewlett-Packard Co and International Business Machines Corp in the race to become one-stop shops for corporate information technology needs.

But it has broadening its offerings with a string of acquisitions such as IT services company Perot Systems and security company SonicWall.   Continued...

A Dell computer logo is seen on a laptop at Best Buy in Phoenix, Arizona, February 18, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott