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Michael Dell, Ross Perot Get Down to Business

Computer maker Dell Inc. (DELL) is preparing to go up against hardware giants IBM Corp. (IBM) and HP (HP), thanks to the acquisition this weekend of VAR and systems integrator Perot Systems (PER}.

Dell will pay $30 per share for Perot Systems, or approximately $3.9 billion. Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the deal, which still must get the thumbs-up from government regulators. Dell hopes to close the transaction during its November-January fiscal quarter.

Dell, hampered by low margins in the computer sector, has been running a services unit, but this move gives the company a big push into that market. Perot Systems came in at No. 51 on the 2009 VAR 500 list; it will become Dell’s services unit. Peter Altabef, Perot Systems’ CEO, will serve as head of the new division.

Channel partners for Dell will be able to expand their portfolios, targeting large corporations, government agencies, the healthcare industry, education and SMEs.

The deal “significantly expands Dell’s enterprise-solutions capabilities and makes Perot Systems’ strengths available to even more customers around the world,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell. “There will be efficiencies from combining the companies, but the acquisition makes such great sense because of the obvious ways our businesses complement each other.”

Perot Systems was founded by businessman and one-time presidential candidate Ross Perot.


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