An unnamed strategic bidder, widely assumed to be Dell, may be closer than ever to acquiring Quest Software in the latest round of a series of bids for the developer of a wide range of enterprise software applications.
Should Dell acquire Quest, it would gain instant credibility as a serious player in the software industry, helping complete the transformation of the company from its roots as a PC reseller to a provider of enterprise business solutions including a solid suite of security, storage, server and application management applications.
Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Quest on Monday reported that it has received a proposal from a strategic bidder to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Quest common stock for $27.50 per share in cash, or a total of about $2.32 billion.
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The news service Reuters, quoting an unnamed source "close to the matter," reported Monday that Dell is that strategic bidder for Quest.
The naming of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell as a bidder for Quest follows on the heels of multiple reports that Dell in late May made an initial bid for Quest worth over $2 billion but then broke off talks about such an acquisition.
That followed a March $2 billion acquisition bid by Insight Venture Partners, a private equity firm. That bid was for $23 per share.
After the May strategic bid for Quest, Insight Venture Partners and a new partner, investment firm Vector Capital, on June 19 increased its offer to $25.75 per share.
Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Quest offers six categories of software, including database management, data protection, performance monitoring, user workspace management, windows server management, and identity and access management.
The acquisition of Quest, should it happen, would be a continuation of a new phase in Dell's move to expand its business beyond its commodity hardware roots.
The company's acquisition focus over the last few years was on building a midrange and enterprise storage practice, and included companies like EqualLogic, Compellent and several smaller firms.
However, the company appears to be shifting its focus to software. Dell in April disclosed plans to acquire Make Technologies, a developer of application modernization software and services for helping customers re-engineer existing applications for more modern IT environments.
That came just days after Dell acquired Clerity Systems, a provider of solutions and services that help customers move from legacy computing systems into new industry-standard systems and even the cloud.
PUBLISHED JUNE 25, 2012