Potential bidding war emerges for Quest Software

A number of buyers have submitted bids for the company

A number of parties have submitted bids to acquire Quest Software, which announced in March that it was going private via a US$2 billion stock buyback in partnership with equity firm Insight Venture Partners.

Quest, which is known for its array of IT management and infrastructure software, made the disclosure about the bids on Wednesday. It did not name the suitors.

The announcement was not unexpected, as Quest had said in March that it would also seek a buyer for the company, in hopes of getting a better outcome for shareholders.

A special committee formed by Quest has determined that a number of the offers are "reasonably expected" to result in a superior deal, but nothing has been confirmed, according to a statement.

Likely bidders for Quest could include Dell, which recently formed a new software division and has since made a series of infrastructure-related acquisitions. It's also conceivable that one of the "Big Four" systems management vendors -- BMC, IBM, CA Technologies and Hewlett-Packard -- could be interested in the vendor.

Quest's stock was up about 9 percent to $24.88 on the news in early trading Wednesday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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