Dell to Acquire Perot Systems for $3.9 billion

Some analysts called the acquisition too pricey for comfort.


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Posted September 21, 2009

- Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dell Inc struck a deal to acquire computer services provider Perot Systems Corp for about $3.9 billion, offering a steep 67.5 percent premium to its previous market value.

The deal is the latest example of computer hardware makers pushing into the higher margin technology services business, which offers stable, recurring revenue streams.

Dell, which had indicated its intention to step up acquisitions, said it would launch a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding Class A common stock of Perot Systems for $30 per share in cash.

That compares to Perot's Friday's closing price of $17.91 on the New York Stock Exchange. Perot Systems shares jumped to $29.68 in early trading.

"We think this acquisition is expensive," said analyst Shannon Cross of Cross Research, who said the deal is pricier by comparison than Hewlett-Packard's purchase of EDS last year. "As opposed to HP/EDS, Dell does not appear to expect significant cost synergies but rather expects to benefit from cross sales."

Dell, which said the acquisition will help it provide a broader range of services to its customers and open the door to the sale of Dell PCs to Perot's clients, expects the deal to add to its earnings in its fiscal year 2012.

On a conference call with analysts, Dell said that the company and Perot Systems spend a combined $4 billion in the areas they plan to integrate, and that Dell sees cost savings of about 6-8 percent.

Perot Systems, founded in 1988 by Ross Perot, who twice ran for U.S. president, is expected to become Dell's services unit. It will be run by Peter Altabef, the current chief executive of Perot Systems.

Ross Perot Jr., Perot Systems' chairman of the board, will be considered for appointment to the Dell board.

Copyright 2009 Reuters. Click for restrictions.

Tags: services, Dell, HP, media

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