Dell sells off software business

Dell's HQ in Santa Clara
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Dell has flogged its software division to Francisco Partners and the private equity arm of activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp for an undisclosed sum.

The deal boost Francisco Partners and Elliott Management’s technology portfolios with the addition of Dell Software’s combination of security, systems and information management, and data analytics solutions.

The asset sale could help the firm refocus on its core hardware business and boost its balance sheet following the firm’s acquisition of EMC (NYSE:EMC) in October for $67bn. While the terms of this particular deal aren’t known, many believe it could be in the order of around $2bn.

The sale sees Dell hiving off firms such as IT operations firm Quest Software and IT security outfit SonicWall. It also covers other areas of the business such as analytics, database management, data protection, endpoint systems management, identity and access management, Microsoft platform management, network security, and performance monitoring.

“We see tremendous growth opportunity for these businesses,” says Brian Decker, head of security investing at Francisco Partners. “Network security and identity and access management are increasingly strategic imperatives for enterprises and we are thrilled to support the continued product innovation of Quest Software and SonicWALL in these areas.”

Francisco Partners’ chief investment officer David Golob adds, “We have a long and successful track record executing divisional carve-out transactions and we look forward to working with the management teams at these businesses to create additional value for the company, its customers, and its partners as an independent entity.”

“Francisco Partners and Elliott Management's deep passion for technology and proven track records in nurturing and building software businesses will enable Dell Software's loyal base of employees to continue delivering innovation,” comments Tom Sweet, CFO at Dell.

Back in March, Dell sold of outsourcing firm Perot Systems to NTT for $3bn. It also took its SecureWorks cybersecurity arm public for $112m.


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