Iomega spurns EMC's hostile acquisition bid

Board says it prefers to go forward with purchase of Cayman Islands, Chinese firms

The board of directors at Iomega this week rejected EMC's bid to acquire the company, preferring instead to go ahead with its deal to buy Excelstor Great Wall Technology, a Cayman Islands company, and Shenzhen Excelstor Technology Ltd., a Chinese company, in a stock deal. The latter deal is expected to close in mid-2008.

Iomega officials said the board voted unanimously on Monday to reject EMC's unsolicited proposal to buy the firm, reportedly for $US3.25 per share, or about $US178 million.

When reached by Computerworld Tuesday, Iomega officials declined to comment further on EMC's bid to buy the San Diego-based storage vendor.

In December, Iomega's president and COO, Thomas Kamper, said its own pending deal to buy the two firms will quadruple the company's annual sales from about $300 million a year to $1.1 billion.

Dave Farmer, a spokesman for EMC, said that the company's move to buy the firm "is consistent with EMC's move into the consumer and small business markets. We believe we extended a compelling offer and are disappointed with their decision."

Iomega currently embeds EMC's Retrospect backup and recovery software into its storage products. In January, Iomega said it will utilise EMC's LifeLine OEM Software for small office and home users to centralize and protect digital files across network devices.

Iomega produces an assortment of removable data storage devices, network attached storage and data recovery products, and managed security services for small and midsize businesses.

EMC chairman and CEO, Joseph Tucci, has long acknowledged his interest in adding consumer-based technologies to EMC's expanding stable of storage and services offerings. In recent months, EMC has acquired Berkeley Data Systems and its hosted Mozy backup service as well cloud-computing startup Pi Corp.

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