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Dell Selling RSA Security to STG Private Equity: Confirmed

Dell Technologies is selling its RSA cybersecurity business to private equity firm STG Partners LLC and participating investors Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’) and AlpInvest Partners, the companies confirmed.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but multiple sources peg the deal's value at $2.08 billion.

This is M&A and investment deal Number 113 that MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E have covered so far in 2020. See the complete M&A deal list here.

STG (Symphony Technology Group) Partners is a private equity firm focused on data, software, and analytics. STG's portfolio includes RedSeal, a provider of cyber risk modeling solutions that can help partners and customers to shrink an attack surface, design resilience into network, prioritize vulnerability remediation, and strengthen compliance management.

Dell Sells RSA Security: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement about the deal, William Chisholm, managing partner at Symphony Technology Group, said:

“As one of the world’s elite security brands, RSA represents a great opportunity for solving some of the rapidly developing customer challenges that go along with digital transformation. We are excited and fully committed to maximizing the power of RSA’s talent, expertise and tremendous growth potential and continuing RSA’s strategy to serve customers with a holistic approach to managing their digital risk.”

RSA President Rohit Ghai
Rohit Ghai, president, RSA

STG’s William Chisholm

Added Rohit Ghai, president of RSA:

"In determining the best way to support our customers' digital journeys, we sought a partner that was enthusiastic about RSA's mission; committed to our customer and partner base; and interested in unleashing the power of our talent, experience, and tremendous growth potential. Symphony Technology Group (STG) fully supports our vision, and with a more independent configuration, we expect to be in an even better position to accelerate innovation, ensure customer success with our portfolio of on-prem and cloud solutions, and expand opportunities for our partner ecosystem."

Concluded Jeff Clarke, chief operating officer and Vice Chairman, Dell Technologies:

“This is the right long-term strategy for Dell, RSA and our collective customers and partners The transaction will further simplify our business and product portfolio. It also allows Dell Technologies to focus on our strategy to build automated and intelligent security into infrastructure, platforms and devices to keep data safe, protected and resilient.”

The deal is expected to close in the next six to nine months, the companies said.

Dell Sells RSA Security: Background

Dell has explored the RSA Security business unit sale multiple times in recent years. The PC giant inherited the cybersecurity business when Dell acquired EMC in 2016.

RSA is well-known for its token-based security technology, but the business faces intense competition from fast-growing identity and access management (IAM) cloud and software providers such as Okta and Ping Identity, Bloomberg has noted.

RSA also is known for its massive RSA Conference -- which is scheduled for February 24-28 in San Francisco. This year's conference faces some pressure from Coronavirus fears. IBM has already pulled out of RSA Conference. On a related note, Facebook and Intel have canceled technology gatherings in the greater San Francisco Bay Area over the next few weeks.

Dell Cybersecurity Strategy

Dell also owns Secureworks, a perennial Top 200 MSSP that’s extending from traditional managed security services to more of a software-defined era led by threat detection and management services. Secureworks, which named NCR veteran Maureen Perrelli as chief channel officer in 2019, has also been the subject of buyout rumors from time to time.

Meanwhile, Dell’s VMware business now owns Carbon Black — an endpoint protection and cybersecurity company that works closely with MSSPs. Dell has been connecting the dots between Secureworks, VMware and Carbon Black as part of its own enterprise security strategy.

Private Equity Firms Acquire Cybersecurity Businesses

Private equity firms have been particularly active in the cybersecurity market. Recent deal disclosures include:

See a list of private equity buyouts involving cybersecurity firms here.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.