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Dell Buys Perot, Broadens IT Services Offerings

In a surprise announcement Monday, Dell Inc. said it plans to purchase Perot Systems Corp. for approximately $3.9 billion. Terms of the agreement were approved Sunday by both boards of directors, according to a joint announcement.

Dell will commence a tender offer to acquire all outstanding Class A common stock of Perot Systems for $30 per share in cash, the two companies said.

The acquisition "will result in a compelling combination of two iconic information technology companies, and an expanded Dell will be even better positioned for immediate and long-term growth and efficiency," the announcement said.

The companies say the merger will mean a broader range of IT services and solutions and optimization of their delivery; a broader reach of Perot Systems' capabilities, and more Perot Systems' customers will have access to Dell computer systems.

Over the past four quarters, Dell and Perot Systems had a combined $16 billion in enterprise hardware and IT services revenue, according to the announcement.

The merger will create a firm with about $8 billion in combined services and support, said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell, during a joint conference call with Ross Perot Jr., chairman of Perot Systems.

Dell said there will be more organic acquisitions and opportunities to grow, "whether it's government or health care or commercial or the global opportunities."

Once the acquisition is complete, Perot Systems will become Dell's services unit. That unit will be led by Peter Altabef, Perot Systems' chief executive officer, from Plano, Texas. At the same time, Dell's board of directors is "expected to consider" Perot for appointment to the Dell board.

The transaction, which is subject to customary government approvals and the satisfaction of other customary conditions, is expected to close in Dell's November-January fiscal quarter.

The merger comes after Dell rival Hewlett-Packard Co.'s acquisition of EDS Corp. for $13.9 billion.

About the Author

David Hubler is the associate editor of Washington Technology.

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