December 13, 2010 – Dell has made an about $800 million offer for data management and storage firm Compellent Technologies following a few days of advanced negotiations.

Under the terms of the proposed deal, Dell will pay $27.75 per share in cash for Compellent, with a net purchase price of $820 million. The deal is subject to customary approvals and expected by Dell to close in early 2011.

Founded in 2002, Compellent is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., and has about 450 employees. The company provides automated tiered storage and works with small-to-midsized businesses.

Compellent will meld into Dell’s storage portfolio, including PowerVault, Equalogic and its partnership with EMC. Dell stated in a news release that it would keep Compellent’s Minnesota office and employees.

Phil Soran, president, CEO and chairman of Compellent, said in the announcement: “With Dell’s scale and technology leadership, we accelerate the adoption of our virtualized platform, Fluid Data, to redefine the value of enterprise storage for data centers and cloud computing.”

The proposed acquisition would be the second by Dell since losing a multibillion-dollar bidding battle with Hewlett-Packard for storage provider 3Par Inc. in September. Dell purchased cloud integration provider Boomi in November for an undisclosed sum.

Andrew Reichman, senior analyst with Forrester Research, says the deal works toward bolstering Dell’s storage platforms and offerings. However, he says that Compellent’s lack of moves in the big-business enterprise storage market makes this acquisition a “more risky bet than the turnkey of 3Par” would have been.

“Dell is going to have to increase the spending and accelerate [Compellent’s] road map to business scalability and bigger performance,” says Reichman.

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