Dell has quietly been involved in a multi-billion dollar bidding war to buy Quest Software and steal it away from a group of private investors, Reuters reports.Quest put out a mysterious press release this morning saying that its board had gotten an all-cash offer that amounts to $2.32 billion. It didn’t name the bidder, but Reuters says it’s Dell.
This topped the last bid Quest got: $2.17 billion from a group lead by Insight Venture Partners and Vector Capital. Quest was so ready to take that bid, that they announced a merger agreement in June.
But Dell wasn’t quite ready to let them have it. It had reportedly started this bidding war with an offer of $2.15 billion, reports Arik Hesseldahl at AllThingsD.
So what’s so great about Quest that people are fighting over it? It makes software that serves about 100,000 enterprise customers. It’s software automates a lot of tasks to make sure that big enterprise software — like Oracle or IBM databases — never go down. Plus it offers tools that helps companies move to Windows 7. It reported $857 million in sales, $44 million net profit last year.
Dell is frantically trying to remake itself over as a post-PC, enterprise player, buying its way there. For instance, in April it bought thin-client maker Wyse for a reported $375 million.
But not everyone is convinced that Dell is on the right track in buying its way into the enterprise. Some analysts thought that Dell could be partnering for the tech it needs.
Investors so far aren’t thrilled either. Dell’s shares are trading today at $11.95 near its 52 year-low of $11.68.