Exclusive: Dell talks with Quest break down: sources

Fri Jun 1, 2012 4:41pm EDT
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By Poornima Gupta and Nadia Damouni

(Reuters) - Negotiations for Dell Inc to acquire Quest Software Inc have broken off but lower-level representatives from both companies remain in touch, two sources familiar with the matter said.

A previous deal for Dell to buy Quest at a range $23 to $26 per share fell through last month. Dell has been seeking to diversify its business away from personal computer hardware.

Talks on the all-cash offer had been tenuous between the two companies, said one of the sources, who did not elaborate on the reason for the break-off.

Shares of Quest closed down 5.04 percent at $23.74. The shares following the news of the deal breakdown.

Quest had agreed in March to be acquired by Insight Venture Partners for $2 billion, or $23 a share, and taken private. But the Aliso Viejo, California-based company said it received multiple offers during a so-called go-shop period after the Insight deal was announced, raising questions whether Insight Venture's bid would be successful.

Insight Venture Partners has the right to match rival offers.

Dell and Quest declined to comment on Friday. Insight Venture Partners could not immediately be reached.

Quest -- which makes software to monitor the flow of data through networks -- have worked together since 2004 and is one of Dell's top 10 partners. Dell is one of Quest's top five partner.   Continued...

A Dell computer logo is seen on a laptop at Best Buy in Phoenix, Arizona, February 18, 2010. Dell Inc is expected to releases its fourth quarter earnings report on on Thursday. REUTERS/Joshua Lott