EMC to buy Isilon Systems for $2.25 billion

Purchase price a 29% premium over Isilon's value through Friday; ISLN shares soar

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Data storage vendor EMC Corp. will acquire enterprise storage platform company Isilon Systems Inc. for $2.25 billion in cash, or $33.85 per share. The deal was announced Monday morning and is expected to be finalized before the end of the year.

Shares of Isilon (NASDAQ: ISLN) soared 7.48, or nearly 30 percent, to $33.77 in Monday's early afternoon trading, while shares of EMC (NYSE: EMC) wed down 10 cents, or 0.46 percent, to 21.62.

The acquisition is the latest in the data storage segment. In September, IBM purchased Netezza for $1.7 billion, while Hewlett-Packard in August outbid Dell to buy 3Par Inc. for $1.5 billion. It's EMC's second data storage move in recent months; the Hopkinton, Mass.-based company in July announced it was purchasing Data Domain.

Isilon specializes in "scale-out NAS" (network attached storage), which IDC predicts will be a $6 billion market by 2014.

EMC also used the announcement to reaffirm its business outlook for 2010. EMC expects consolidated revenues of $16.9 billion, $0.91 in consolidated GAAP diluted earnings per share, and $1.25 in consolidated non-GAAP diluted earnings per share.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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