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Dell may fatten up software offering by swallowing Quest

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Dell could be looking to buy Quest Software, according to reports.

Bloomberg cites informed sources and says Dell tried to buy Quest when the software company agreed in March this year to go private and be bought by InSight Venture Partners for around $2bn. That transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Quest does database management, performance monitoring, user workspace, Windows Server and identity and access management. It is also a player in the storage world as it bought backup software vendor Bakbone for $55m in November 2010.

Quest reported revenues of $182.2m in the first three months of this year, with profits of $2.7m.

Dell needs more software in its portfolio as it commands a higher margin than its cheap desktop and server hardware and helps transform it into more of an enterprise supplier of integrated hardware, software and services. Recent results have been dull, pointing up that Delll might have to bulk up its software offering somewhat.

The backup part of Quest's portfolio might be surplus to requirements as Dell recently bought continuous data protection vendor AppAssure. It also resells data protection software from both CommVault and Symantec.

We think that InSight Venture Partners would need to be bought out and Dell might have to fork over substantially more than $2bn.

The Bloomberg report is here. ®

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