Thursday, 4 June 2009

NetApp ups the ante for Data Domain

(By Philip Carnelley – Wednesday 4th June 2009 9:00am). As widely expected, NetApp has increased its bid for Data Domain (DDI) to try to fend off counter-bidder EMC, for all the reasons we explained yesterday (The Price of Storage – a Software Love Triangle). NetApp’s new offer, which equates to $30 per share, is 27% higher than its previous offer. This matches but doesn’t exceed EMC’s bid, which is all cash. It has been “agreed”, or accepted by DDI, so clearly DDI would prefer NetApp as a parent.

But investors may take a different view. Data Domain closed last night at $32.58. The market expects a higher offer from EMC, which at its last quarterly filing, had over $6b in cash and equivalents – compared to NetApp’s $1.7b. By matching rather than exceeding EMC’s offer, it seems like NetApp knows it can’t win in a bidding war but is hoping an agreed deal will block out EMC. Or perhaps it already feels it’s lost the fight and is just trying to exact as high a price as it can from its rival. EMC has yet to respond to NetApp’s latest move.

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