EMC ups the ante with $1.8 billion bid for Data Domain

By Kevin Komiega

-- EMC has thrown a wrench into NetApp's plans to acquire disk-based backup and data deduplication vendor Data Domain by upping the price to $1.8 billion in an attempt to outbid NetApp.

EMC declared its intentions to buy Data Domain in a conference call Monday with a proposal to pay $30.00 per share in cash, in a transaction with a total value of approximately $1.8 billion. EMC's all-cash offer is 20% higher than the $25 per share, $1.5 billion offer NetApp made last month.

In a statement to press and analysts, Joe Tucci, EMC chairman, president and CEO, said, "Strategically, this combination will further enhance our ability to broaden EMC's best-in-class storage portfolio for the benefit of EMC and Data Domain customers and this, in turn, will accelerate EMC's top-and bottom-line growth rates. Our substantially superior proposal is a win-win for both companies."

EMC is ready to strike. The company is prepared to execute on the proposed agreement when and if Data Domain's Board of Directors determines that its bid is superior to NetApp's.

Tucci further outlined EMC's plans in an open letter to Data Domain's president and CEO, Frank Slootman. Tucci wrote:

"The customer use cases for Data Domain's data deduplication technologies and EMC's existing data deduplication technologies are generally distinct. The combination of Data Domain's leading target-based deduplication technologies and EMC's leading source-based deduplication technologies will allow the combined company to address the broad range of customers' data protection needs in a unified and complementary way. The marketplace for storage software solutions is complex, dynamic and highly competitive. Having superior deduplication technology solutions that combine the strengths of Data Domain and EMC in this storage software marketplace will help customers better achieve their needs as the market continues to evolve.

"The combination of Data Domain's and EMC's technologies will provide the basis for the next-generation of disk-based back-up and archiving solutions for customers by providing functionally superior and cost-effective alternatives to tape-based information backup."

If EMC wins out, the company plans to maintain Data Domain's senior management team under Slootman and operate Data Domain as a product division within EMC.

Related articles:
NetApp shells out $1.5 billion for Data Domain
NetApp's competitors take aim at Data Domain deal
NetApp + Data Domain: Overlap is ok

This article was originally published on June 02, 2009