Computer maker Dell plans to buy the technology services company Perot Systems for about $3.9 billion as it tries to expand beyond the PC business and compete more aggressively with Hewlett-Packard — which also recently bought a tech-services company founded by H Ross Perot.
Dell said it will offer $30 per share in cash for Perot Systems_ a 68 per cent premium over its closing price Friday. Perot Systems’ shares rose $11.73, or 65 per cent, to $29.64 in morning trading. Dell shares fell 80 cents, or 4.8 per cent, to $15.89.
Former presidential candidate H. Ross Perot Sr., now 79, serves as chairman emeritus of Perot Systems, which he founded in 1988.
He earlier had made a fortune from founding Electronic Data Systems in 1962 and selling the company to General Motors in a 1984 deal worth $2.5 billion. Hewlett-Packard bought EDS last year for $13.9 billion.
Dell’s founder and CEO, Michael Dell, said the deal will serve as an “anchor” acquisition for a global information-technology services business.
Perot Systems would bring Dell more than 1,000 customers in a wide range of sectors, from government to manufacturing and financial services.
Analysts have been expecting acquisitions from Dell, which hired IBM's former mergers and acquisitions chief this year and has raised almost $1 billion by selling debt securities since March.
The company’s revenue comes mainly from the hard-hit PC business, while competitors like HP have a wider set of products and services. Dell’s profits have been slumping, down 23 percent in the second quarter.
Dell said it is looking to hold on to Perot management, including CEO Peter Altabef. Ross Perot Jr., the chairman of Perot’s board, will be considered for a director slot at Dell, the company said.