EMC wins Data Domain

After weeks of tug of war, NetApp must concede defeat as EMC strikes a $2.1 billion deal to buy Data Domain.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

The fight to win Data Domain is over.

EMC and Data Domain announced Wednesday that the two have entered a definitive merger agreement. EMC will buy Data Domain for $33.50 a share in cash, a deal worth $2.1 billion.

Data Domain's board said it determined that EMC's offer was "advisable, fair to and in the best interests of Data Domain and its stockholders." The board is recommending that Data Domain investors tender their shares to EMC.

EMC was determined to buy Data Domain by continually outbidding NetApp over the past five weeks and is now focused on the next steps.

"We look forward to bringing Data Domain together with EMC to form a powerful force in next-generation disk-based backup and archive," EMC CEO Joe Tucci said in a statement. "I have tremendous respect for Data Domain's people, technology and business, and anticipate great things ahead for our respective companies, our customers and partners."

NetApp said it would not change its bid for Data Domain and that the two companies have ended their merger agreement. Data Domain also canceled the special stockholder meeting set for August 14, at which time investors were to vote on the NetApp proposal.

"NetApp applies a disciplined approach to acquisitions, ones focused intently on creating long-term value for our stockholders," Dan Warmenhoven, NetApp's CEO, said in a statement. "We therefore cannot justify engaging in an increasingly expensive and dilutive bidding war that would diminish the deal's strategic and financial benefits."

NetApp gets a concession prize, though--a $57 million break-up fee from Data Domain.

The bidding war was brief but active. On May 20, NetApp bid $25 a share to acquire Data Domain in a stock and cash deal worth $1.5 billion. In early June, EMC upped the ante with a $30-per-share cash offer, forcing NetApp to boost its bid to match. However, EMC promoted its deal as superior because it didn't contain some of the contingencies of NetApp's proposal.

Data Domain seemed intent on choosing the NetApp bid, prompting a couple of lawsuits against the company over its failure to consider EMC's offer.

Finally, on Monday EMC upped its price to $33.50 per share, which proved to be the winning bid.