Dell buying Quest for $2.4 billion

The deal had been rumored for some time

Dell has announced it is buying Quest Software for US$2.4 billion, following weeks of speculation over its interest in the infrastructure software vendor. The deal is expected to close later this year.

Quest's products include the Toad database management toolset, Quest One Identity management software, and the SonicWALL and Secureworks products, all of which will be complementary to Dell's portfolio, the companies said in a statement.

It's the latest acquisition by Dell since its formation earlier this year of a new software division, headed by former CA Technologies CEO John Swainson. In March, Quest announced it was going private through a $2 billion stock buyback along with private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, but also said it was open to better offers.

"Quest's suite of industry-leading software products, highly talented team members and unique intellectual property will position us well in the largest and fastest growing areas of the software industry," Swainson said in a statement.

"This agreement is great news for our customers and partners worldwide," Quest CEO Vinny Smith said in a letter to customers. "Dell's distribution, reach and brand are well recognized in the industry. Dell is acquiring Quest as the foundation to their software business."

In doing so, Dell will bring itself into closer competition with the "Big Four" systems management vendors, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, BMC and CA.

Executives from both companies are expected to discuss the deal further during a conference call later Monday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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