California private equity shop Francisco Partners Management and New York hedge fund Elliott Management on Monday agreed to buy the software assets of Dell as the giant PC seller continues to shed ancillary units to prepare for its $67 billion purchase of EMC (EMC) .
The financial investors are paying more than $2 billion for Dell Software, according to Reuters.
Representatives from Elliott, Paul Singer's fund, and Dell refused to comment on the price of the deal, which includes server virtualization company Quest Software and cybersecurity specialist SonicWall.
"Quest Software and SonicWall provide mission-critical software to a large and loyal base of over 180,000 customers, and we see significant opportunity to build upon the company's impressive technology and product portfolio," Francisco Partners CEO Dipanjan Deb said in a statement.
Dell in November pledged to sell $10 billion worth of assets to help finance its EMC acquisition, which it unveiled a month earlier. Dell hopes the agreement will allow the Round Rock, Texas, company to profit from exploding interest in corporate cloud computing as interest in personal computers wanes.
In March Dell agreed to sell its services unit to Japan's NTT Data for $3.05 billion, below the $3.9 billion it paid in 2009 when the division was known as Perot Systems. That auction was expected to fetch up to $5 billion, while Monday's agreement had been seen yielding $4 billion, as reported previously by TheStreet.
In addition, an April initial public offering for SecureWorks (SCWX) - Get Report , Dell's cybersecurity division, priced at $14, below the $15.50 to $17.50 range. Dell retained 86.8% of common shares and 98.5% of voting power as of April 29, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. SecureWorks shares closed Monday at $14.52.
Dell, which was taken private in 2013 for $24.9 billion by founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, also is raising billions in debt to finance the EMC deal, including a May bond offering that raised $20 billion. Strong interest in the secured bonds allowed it to increase the volume from an initial $16 billion.
As with the Perot Systems sale, Monday's software assets were brought into the Dell family through acquisitions. In 2012, Dell paid $1.2 billion for SonicWall and $2.4 billion for Quest, which competes with the VWware unit of EMC it will acquire in that deal.
Elliott and Francisco are no strangers and have jointly invested in tech companies for more than a decade. In 2006 the pair linked up to take Metrologic Holdings private for $398 million and later sell it for $720 million to Honeywell International (HON) - Get Report . The duo in 2010 also invested with Thoma Bravo and Golden Gate Capital in Attachmate Group, which was bought four years later by London's Micro Focus International.
Credit Suisse Group and RBC Capital Markets are providing debt for Monday's acquisition.
Goldman Sachs Group led the auction for Dell, which turned to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett for legal advice.
Barclays and Citigroup were financial advisers to Elliott and Francisco, while Gibson, Dunn & Cutcher's Aaron Adams and Eric Sloan were legal counsel along with attorneys from Shearman & Sterling and Kirkland & Ellis.