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Confirmed: Dell software sell-off

Next up: Michael Dell's sock drawer to largest bidder

Dell has confirmed rumors that it is selling off its software division to private equity firms Francisco Partners and Elliott Management.

"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," said Tom Sweet, CFO at Dell.

The deal will cover the Quest Software and SonicWall arms of Dell, as well as other, unspecified advanced analytics, database management, data protection, endpoint systems management, identity and access management, Microsoft platform management, network security, and performance monitoring code.

"We see tremendous growth opportunity for these businesses," said 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."

The duo told The Register that the terms of the deal aren't being made public at the moment, but it is thought to be worth about $2bn and is being debt-financed by Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets.

If the rumored price tag is accurate, that's still going to leave Dell scrabbling around for cash as it seeks to gather the $67bn it needs to buy storage firm EMC. Dell sold Perot Systems to NTT Data for $3bn in March (less than it paid for it originally) and – after a disappointing IPO – only raised 112m from the sale of SecureWorks.

All of which makes it likely that Dell will be flogging off anything else the firm has that is deemed non-core business. At this rate, Michael Dell will be forced to auction off the contents of his sock draw before the EMC board votes on July 19 whether or not to approve the takeover. ®

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