March 12, 2012 – Business services management and virtualization provider Quest Software is moving forward with a $2 billion deal to go private, though it will be open to other buyout offers.

Private equity firm Insight Venture Partners would pay $23 per share in cash to Quest stockholders not affiliated with the firm in a deal already approved by boards of directors at both companies, according to the announcement on Friday. The deal includes a “go-shop” clause where a special committee from the equity firm will solicit, receive and possibly enter into negotiations for Quest to accept “any potential superior proposal” to the $2 billion private buyout within 60 days. Acceptance of an alternate offer includes a “break-up” fee of $4.2 million paid by Quest, which is increased to $6.3 million after that go-shop period passes.

Quest CEO and Chairman Vinny Smith will maintain his leadership role after the proposed closing.

“As a private company, we will have increased flexibility to drive innovation across our product lines and execute our long-term strategy. We expect this strategic partnership with Insight, with whom we have worked for many years, will ensure the Company has a secure foundation and a commitment to investment in the Company’s long-term growth,” said Smith in a release on the move.

Quest reported $857 million in revenue in 2011, an increase of 11.8 percent from the previous year, and counts more than 100,000 customers worldwide. Established in 1987, the California-based provider announced a trio of acquisitions over the last six months in the virtualization and platform migration spaces and rolled out a new database management solution with connections for Oracle and Hadoop.

Click here for a news release and an FAQ for customers on the private move.

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