Quest Received Buyout Bid Matching $23-a-Share Insight Offer

Quest Software Inc., which agreed last month to be bought by private-equity firm Insight Venture Partners for about $2 billion, received another bid at the same $23-a-share price.

An unidentified financial firm made the alternative proposal on March 6, the Aliso Viejo, California-based company said in a regulatory filing. The new prospective investor also indicated it was willing to participate in the Insight-led transaction.

Quest, a provider of business software for managing and protecting data, decided to proceed with the Insight agreement, announced March 9, because it includes 60 days to shop for a better deal. Quest will pay Insight $4.2 million if it finds another buyer during the so-called “go-shop” period.

Morgan Stanley, Quest’s financial adviser, approached the unidentified bidder as part of the process of assessing the Insight transaction, according to the filing.

The Insight Venture is paying a premium of about 13 percent to Quest’s average 20-day stock price prior to the announcement. That compares to an average premium of 17 percent on more than 1,000 applications-software acquisitions in the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tom Johnson, a spokesman for Quest, declined to comment beyond the filing.

Quest rose 1.5 percent to $23.43 at the close in New York. The stock has gained climbed 26 percent this year.

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