Grab a bag of popcorn and settle down by the big screen, folks -- we have an honest-to-goodness bidding war on our hands!
But now EMC has rained on NetApp's parade with a $30-per-share cash offer. With over $7.2 billion of liquid assets on hand, EMC is most definitely rich enough to cover the full $1.8 billion purchase price, net of Data Domain's cash, right from its checkbook. NetApp has only about $2.6 billion in its war chest and would have to go into debt to stay in this race much longer.
As Yoda would say: Begun, this bidding war has. While Data Domain's deduplication products make a great fit with EMC's storage solutions, I believe that NetApp simply needs this deal more than EMC does. It may take secondary stock offerings, debt papers, or perhaps a joint purchase deal with a bigger and richer partner -- perhaps Oracle
Perhaps EMC's bid is just meant to raise the price tag for NetApp, and perhaps EMC really wants this deal. We shall see in the coming weeks. In the meantime, there is one certain winner: Data Domain's shareholders.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.