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Avocent to Acquire LANDesk

Here's a merger that was completely unexpected and out of left field. Avocent, makers of KVM and remote access products, is purchasing LANDesks, a desktop management vendor. "The agreement, which is expected to close within 60 to 75 days, provides for total consideration of $416 million, including $200 million in stock, $200 million in cash and $16 million in assumed options. The transaction value may be increased by up to $60 million if LANDesk meets certain financial targets specified in the agreement."
I would never have thought that these two companies would merge. After all, what do they have in common? KVMs and remote access products are usually for servers and data center devices. LANDesk has traditionally focused on the desktop, but also offer some server management offerings. The press release claims the two have similar business strategy, vision and complimentary customer bases. Personally, I'm still thinking that this makes as much sense as Chewbacca living on Endor. Now when Avocent purchased Cyclades a few months ago, that made sense. That's just buying out a competitor who makes a good product.

My suspicion is that Avocent is trying to be an all in one system management vendor, from the desktop to the data center, system hardware and system software. Avocent has a pretty decent KVM architecture. Cyclades adds on serial device management. LANDesk now handles the software management side of things. Combining the KVM and serial device management console into the system and server management console could be handy. Instead of going into the LANDesk server administrator console and launching a remote control agent, you launch a remote KVM session. KVMs allow for accessing the boot prompt and crashed computers, whereas traditional remote control software like Microsoft RDC cannot. This functionality will require some time to be integrated. But is it going to return $416 million? Whether or not this merger will bear fruit remains to be seen.