Dell Close To Acquiring Data Storage Provider For $876M

ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) — Computer maker Dell Inc. is close to acquiring data storage provider Compellent Technologies for about $876 million, the company said Thursday.

The acquisition would extend a recent string of deals in the data storage industry as tech firms position themselves to help big companies and government agencies deal with ever increasing amounts of digital information.

Dell fell short in its effort to break into the storage business earlier this year when it lost the bidding for 3Par Inc. Rival Hewlett Packard Co. ended up paying $2.07 billion.

Now, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell says it has a tentative agreement to buy Compellent Technologies Inc., which is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., for $27.50 per share. The company cautioned that a deal may still not happen.

But investors appear to have already anticipated a takeover offer — and perhaps a fatter premium for the shares.

Dell's offer represents an 18.2 percent discount to Compellent's closing share price Wednesday of $33.65. The stock slipped 14.6 percent ahead of regular trading to $28.75, but remained above the offer price.

Dell shares edged up 12 cents to $13.80 in pre-market trading.