Dell To Acquire E-Mail Services Provider MessageOne for $155 Million

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The deal has been approved by the companies' two boards but is still subject to regulatory approvals. Dell, based in Round Rock, Tex., said the acquisition would broaden the company's ProSupport line of configurable service offerings and the company will make the MessageOne services available both direct to customers and through its channel partners.

MessageOne delivers e-mail continuity, compliance, archiving and disaster recovery services that Dell says help businesses eliminate complexity and downtime associated with managing and archiving e-mail messages. While the services are geared toward the needs of large companies, they can be scaled down for small and midsize companies, said Steve Schuckenbrock, president of Dell Global Services, in a statement.

In December Dell acquired Everdream, a Fremont, Calif.-based developer of software-as-a-service remote management tools for desktops, for an undisclosed sum. Last year Dell bought MSP platform provider SilverBack Technologies, Billerica, Mass., also for an undisclosed amount.

Dell also said it took a number of precautionary steps in negotiating the MessageOne buyout given that MessageOne, based in Austin, Tex., was co-founded by Adam Dell, brother of Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, whose family investment funds hold an interest in MessageOne. Independent members of Dell's board of directors closely monitored and analyzed the negotiations to make sure the deal was in shareholders' best interests, for example, and Michael Dell was excluded from all negotiations.

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Michael Dell, his wife Susan and their children will earn approximately $12 million from the deal while Adam Dell will receive $970,000 and their parents will get $450,000, according to the company. The Dell statement said Michael and Susan Dell have indicated they will contribute their share of the sale proceeds to charity.