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Dell Closes Twin Acquisitions

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After a disappointing first quarter, the world’s third largest PC maker by shipment, Dell Inc. (DELL) recently confirmed the completion of two of its most sought-after acquisitions. The acquisitions of two cloud-software providers – Make Technologies and Wyse Technologies – were announced in April. Both deals, the financials of which were kept confidential, were crucial for building Dell’s position in the software vertical.

California-based Wyse Technology is a provider of thin client (usually a device or a program that allows a number of users to perform computational functions based on a single server) hardware and software, desktop virtualization software and cloud software for all computing devices. Wyse has business ties with tech giants such as Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Citrix Inc. (CTXS), IBM Corp. (IBM), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and VMware Inc. (VMW).

Make Technologies provides software and services that modernize traditional applications used by cloud-based systems. The cloud-based products from the company have the capacity to cut cost, reduce risk and re-engineer applications.

Wyse Technology will not only enrich Dell’s desktop virtualization capabilities, but will also expand its enterprise solutions portfolio, as a whole. On the other hand, inputs from Make Technologies will open up growth opportunities for Dell’s core application portfolio management software and services. With all these new capabilities in its pocket, Dell will go all out to sell its new offerings to the existing customers first.

We don’t have much information about the financial impact of these two acquisitions, but the impending long-term growth opportunities arising from the deals can easily be gauged. The new units will enhance Dell’s enterprise solutions portfolio, which would generate higher revenue, going forward. We also think that the positive impact of all the acquisitions may not be evident for some time, as the new units would take time to gel with the existing capabilities.

Apart from these two acquisitions, Dell also acquired Clerity Solutions and SonicWall in March and AppAssure in February, to boost its enterprise solutions portfolio.

Also, the takeover of IT management software provider, Quest Software Inc. (:QSFT) is in the wind. While there were no comments from Dell’s side, market sources say that Quest has already been offered a price of $23 a share from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners in March. If Dell has to bid, it will have to pay a higher price.

Dell’s acquisition spree is encouraging but there are integration risks. Also, Dell may have to raise new debts for funding the acquisitions, which may increase the interest burden.

Currently, Dell has a short-term Hold recommendation, as indicated by the Zacks #3 Rank.

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