Dell has announced Francisco Partners and Elliott Management have agreed to purchase its software business unit as the company moves towards deadline day for the EMC merger, reports Telecoms.com.
The deal, initially reported by Reuters, will include the Quest Software and SonicWALL assets reportedly for just over $2 billion. Both assets were acquired by Dell in recent years, for a combined total of $3.6 billion, and while this could be seen as a big loss for the company, details of what the transaction will include and what will remain in the Dell business have not been confirmed.
The acquisition represents two growing trends within the industry. Firstly, venture capitalists have been making some notable moves in recent weeks, possibly indicating confidence in backing cloud companies have returned. Vista Equity Partners bought Marketo for $1.8 billion last month, then this followed up with a deal for Ping Identity for $600 million. Thoma Bravo also bought Qlik for $3 billion and Providence Strategic Growth invested $130 million in Logic Monitor recently.
Secondly, Dell is starting to peel back layers of their business. For the most part, this shouldn’t be seen as a particular surprise; an acquisition the size of the one Dell is currently going through requires funding, and there is also likely to be a certain level of crossover between the two business units. Characterising sale of Quest Software and SonicWALL, as well as Dell Services in March, as panic sales could be tempting, though it could also be seen as logical.
Dell’s buy-out of EMC was initially announced in October last year for $67 billion, billed as one of the largest acquisitions in the history of the technology industry. At EMC World this year, the team took the chance to launch the new brand, Dell Technologies, but also outline the integration strategy of the two tech giants. Dell’s Chief Integration Officer Rory Read and EMC’s COO of the Global Enterprise Services business unit Howard Elias highlighted while a reduction in headcount and sales would be limited, it would not be entirely unavoidable; two companies as large as Dell and EMC are naturally going to have crossover.
The sales to Francisco Partners and Elliott Management could be seen as a means to raise capital for the acquisition, this is hardly surprising as it was highly unlikely $67 billion was going to be found down the back of the sofa. The team have not commented on the specifics of the agreement to date, however one thing it does highlight is sales are a necessity to funding one of the largest deals in the history of the technology industry.