NetApp Trumps EMC with $1.9B Offer for Data Domain

The data storage world awaits a response from EMC, which on June 1 offered $1.8 billion for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based storage systems provider. EMC is a powerful company accustomed to getting what it wants, so it is possible that the bidding war is not over.

NetApp trumped much larger competitor EMC June 3 by making a revised proposal totaling about $1.9 billion to acquire storage systems provider and data deduplication specialist Data Domain.

NetApp on May 20 announced it would buy Data Domain for $1.5 billion in cash and stock, or $25 per share. EMC then surprised the storage world June 1 with a $1.8 billion offer for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company, or $30 per share in cash, and declared its offer as "superior."
NetApp may have had the last laugh, however. Reuters reported June 3, according to sources close to the negotiations, that Data Domain has accepted the NetApp offer as final. No confirmation of this had been received by eWEEK at the time of this writing, however.
Nothing will be signed, sealed and delivered until the boards and shareholders of both companies vote on the transaction.
EMC is a powerful company accustomed to getting what it wants, so it is possible that the bidding war is not over.
Under the terms of its new proposal, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Data Domain common stock for $30 per share in cash and stock in a transaction valued at approximately $1.9 billion, net of Data Domain's cash.
Huge Turnaround in Stock Value
Data Domain shareholders have to be very happy with the sudden turnaround in the stock. On March 16, Data Domain was selling for $10.24. It was selling for more than $32 on June 3.
"Our strategic rationale remains the same and we firmly believe that the combination of our two companies will provide a greater opportunity and risk-adjusted value for Data Domain shareholders, customers, and partners," Dan Warmenhoven, chairman and CEO of NetApp, said in a prepared statement.
"The complementary nature of the Data Domain and NetApp product lines will result in higher aggregate growth compared to the redundancies that would result with the EMC product line."
Data Domain's portfolio provides NetApp a complementary offering to expand its reach in the market for heterogeneous disk-based backup, Warmenhoven said.
The Data Domain acquisition is expected to increase NetApp's ability to capitalize on the growth of disk-based backup adoption, a trend accelerated by the economics of deduplication.
"NetApp's offer for Data Domain is also superior to EMC's previously announced, unsolicited proposal, as it offers a combination of value certainty and the opportunity for Data Domain shareholders to participate in the future success of the combined NetApp and Data Domain entity," Warmenhoven said.
"The cultural compatibility between Data Domain and NetApp will maximize the potential for continued innovation from a creative and motivated employee base," Warmenhoven said. "This will not only create a meaningful choice for our customers but also lead to a complementary combination with no obstacles to an expeditious close of the acquisition.
"Therefore, we are as committed to this partnership now as we were when we first announced our intent to acquire Data Domain," Warmenhoven said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...