Dell sells off software business

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Dell sells off software business

Needs cash for EMC buy.

Technology giant Dell will sell its software division to a global private equity firm and a hedge fund manager in a deal reportedly worth over US$2 billion.

The deal involves Dell's Quest Software and SonicWall operations, two businesses that Dell acquired in 2012 for a combined total of around US$3.6 billion.

It also includes unspecified advanced analytics, database management, data protection, endpoint systems management, identity and access management, Microsoft platform management, network security, and performance monitoring products.

The buyers are private equity firm Francisco Partners and hedge fund manager Elliott Management.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Reuters reported the acquisition is worth US$2 billion.

The two Dell businesses have a total customer base of over 180,000 users, according to the new owners.

“We see tremendous growth opportunity for these businesses,” Francisco Partners head of security investing Brian Decker said in a statement.

“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.”

Dell had been speaking to private equity firms about a sale of Quest Software and SonicWall since earlier this year.

The company is trying to offload non-core areas of its business to help fund its US$67 billion acquisition of EMC.

The software sell-off follows the US$3 billion sale of its IT services unit to NTT Data in March. The company also took its SecureWorks security business public in April in a US$112 million US IPO.

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