Updated with analyst comments and additional data throughout
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Struggling PC-maker Dell (DELL) has agreed to buy business software specialist Quest Software (QSFT) for $28 a share in cash -- or roughly $2.4 billion -- as it tries to reposition away from the shrinking personal computer market and into tech business services and analytics.
The bid by Dell confirms speculation that it was mulling a bid for Quest Software after the enterprise software specialist previously agreed to a $23 a share buyout offer by private equity firm and large shareholder Insight Venture Partners, which valued the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company at $2 billion.
However an unnamed "strategic bidder" during Quest Software's 60-day "go shop" period - presumably Dell -- raised the stakes and started a bidding war with Insight that's now pushed Quest Software's takeover price up by over 20%. Dell's secrecy in the process comes after it lost a heated 2010 bidding war with Hewlett Packard (HPQ) for 3PAR, which nearly tripled the date center software maker's market value.
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