SunGard Data Systems, after weeks of battling with the U.S. Department of Justice over its plans to acquire the assets of Comdisco's $440 million disaster recovery business, announced this week that the sale has been completed.
The deal, reported to be worth $825 million in cash, went through after the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the purchase would not violate antitrust laws, denying a motion by the U.S. Department of Justice to delay closing.
The Department of Justice has argued that since SunGard and Comdisco are the second- and third-largest providers of disaster recovery services (behind leader IBM Global Services) the merger would violate antitrust laws.
The Appeals Court decision effectively puts an end to Hewlett-Packard's $750 million bid to purchase the Comdisco unit.
HP's initial offer of $610 million came in July after Comdisco, which brought in about $440 million in 2000 from its disaster recovery business, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. HP, which was outbid by Sungard in October, then raised its own bid to $750 million after the Department of Justice's antitrust suit filing.
Included in the transaction are Comdisco's U.S.-based availability solutions business, as well as its professional services organization, Web-hosting business and related operations in the United Kingdom and France.
While SunGard did not assume any Comdisco bank or public debt, it funded the transaction in part with $450 million of new bank debt.
Though the Department of Justice is expected to appeal the decision, SunGard executives are planning to ask the Court of Appeals to resolve the case before the Dec. 5 termination date that is stated in the acquisition agreement between SunGard and Comdisco.