NEW YORK (AP) - Dell Inc. said Monday it has agreed to buy the information technology services company Perot Systems Corp. for about $3.9 billion as it looks to expand beyond the personal computer business.

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said it will offer $30 per share in cash for Perot, which is based in Plano, Texas. That represents a 68 percent premium over Perot's closing share price Friday, and Perot shares shot up 66 percent in premarket trading Monday.

Dell said Perot, founded by former presidential candidate Ross Perot, will expand the company's IT services offerings for businesses and widen the pool of potential customers for its computers.

It expects to close the deal in the November-January quarter and start boosting its earnings beginning in fiscal 2012.

Analysts have been expecting an acquisition from Dell, which hired IBM Corp.'s former mergers and acquisitions chief earlier this year and has raised almost $1 billion in debt since March.

The company's revenue comes mainly from the hard-hit PC business, while competitors like Hewlett-Packard Co. have a wider set of products. As a result Dell's second-quarter profit slumped 23 percent.

The company said Perot will become Dell's service unit, led by Perot CEO Peter Altabef. Ross Perot Jr., the head of Perot's board, will be considered for a director slot at Dell.

Dell shares fell 79 cents, or 4.7 percent, to $15.90 in premarket trading Monday, while Perot's stock shot up $11.79, or 66 percent, to $29.70.


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