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No. 3 computer manufacturer Dell has agreed to acquire networking applications company Quest Software for $2.4 billion to expand its business-facing capabilities, the company announced Monday morning.

Dell has been in talks to buy Quest since at least May. The buy will expand Dell’s enterprise focus, with improved software capabilities in systems management, security, data protection, and workspace management.

“Clearly, Dell’s distribution, reach, and brand are well-recognized in the industry,” said Quest Software CEO Vinny Smith in a statement. “Combine that with Quest’s software expertise and award-winning systems management products and you have a very powerful combination for our customers and partners. With this transaction, Quest’s products and employees become the foundation for Dell’s critical software business.”

Dell will pay $28 per share for Quest, a 19-cent premium over its closing price of $27.81 on Friday. The transaction is expected to close in Dell’s third fiscal quarter.

Quest originally accepted a $2.17 billion bid to be acquired by Insight Venture Partners, but those talks apparently faltered, leading the way for Dell to acquire the company at a higher price.

Dell photo: Flickr/Dell

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