Data Domain asks shareholders to wait on EMC buyout offer

NetApp's cash-and-stock buyout offer is a higher dollar figure, but analysts say EMC's all-cash offer is a better choice for Data Domain

Data Domain's board of directors on Thursday asked shareholders to wait before deciding on EMC's bid to buy the company for $1.8 billion, even though NetApp Inc. topped that offer on Thursday.

EMC's unsolicited all-cash offer is viewed by some industry observers as superior to NetApp's cash and stock offer, but Data Domain's executives already signed an agreement to accept the NetApp deal. However, the board also agreed to NetApp's initial offer of $1.5 billion on May 20.

[ Analysis: EMC doesn't need Data Domain, but the deal would damage chief rival NetApp. ]

"At this time, the Board is not making a recommendation with respect to the EMC offer," the board said in a statement. "At this time, the Board is reaffirming the recommendation in favor of Data Domain's merger with NetApp."

According to Steve Duplessie, founder and senior analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group in Milford, Mass., Data Domain's board had to accept NetApp's offer, but it is also free to recommend EMC's current offer or a follow-up bid.

"The way the restrictions work, is when there's a tender negotiation on acquisition, no one else is allowed to interfere with that. And so, they have to sign and accept that offer to have the opportunity now to have others come in and play," Duplessie said.

This story, "Data Domain asks shareholders to wait on EMC buyout offer" was originally published by Computerworld.