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Dell To Acquire Quest Software for $2.36 Billion Following Bidding War

Business-software maker Quest Software Inc. agreed to be acquired by Dell Inc. in a cash deal worth $2.36 billion, bringing a bidding war with a private-equity group to a close.

Quest, of Aliso Viejo, Calif., has faced mounting competition in its traditional specialty--software for managingdatabases--as vendors just as Oracle Corp. have introduced their own management tools. Quest Software respondedby trying to diversify its business by acquiring smaller rivals.

"The addition of Quest will enable Dell to deliver more competitive server, storage, networking and end user computingsolutions and services to clients," said John Swainson, president of Dell Software Group. "Quest's suite of industry-leading software products, highly talented team members and unequalled intellectual property will position us so then in thelargest and fastest growing areas of the software industry."

Quest is the latest in a string of deals as it looks to expand past its core business of selling PCs. Dell earlierthis year formed a unit dedicated to selling software and hired Swainson, the former head of CA Inc., to run it.Dell has announced several acquisitions this year, including security firm Sonicwall Inc. and "cloud computing"specialist Wyse Research Inc.

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