Dell, Compellent Talk Sale; Will This One Close?

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Compellent announced today that it’s in talks with Dell about a possible acquisition. Compellent, which sells enterprise-class SAN storage called Storage Center and network storage called Fluid Data Storage, would be a nice score for Dell. After failing to close the deal with 3PAR over the summer, Dell still needs a big acquisition to bolster its storage lineup.

If Dell has a weak spot going forward with enterprise customers, it’s storage. The company is selling servers like crazy – outpacing its competitors in terms of growth – and its new focus on cloud computing management software is turning heads. However, Dell’s storage story is still very much focused on EqualLogic and a partnership with EMC. Dell has, however, closed some interesting software deals lately, including deduplication/compression specialist Ocarina Networks and scale-out NAS provider Exanet.

The terms between Dell and Compellent are currently at $27.50 a share, which is more than six dollars less than Compellent’s closing price on Wednesday. However, that seems to be an inflated price due to rumors of an acquisition, and some analysts don’t think Compellent can do much better than Dell is offering. Still, 3PAR seemed like a done deal until HP started a bidding war and arguably overpaid in the end, so this deal might be far from complete.

Image courtesy of Matthew Field.

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