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Dell Sells RSA to Private Equity Firm for $2.1B

The deal with private equity entity Symphony Technology Group was revealed one week before the security industry's RSA Conference in San Francisco.

Nearly five years after Dell Technologies scooped up RSA's security business via its $67 billion buy of RSA's then-parent firm EMC Corp., the technology company now plans to sell RSA to a private equity firm for $2.075 billion in cash.

Dell Technologies announced today that a consortium led by Symphony Technology Group (STG), Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, and AlpInvest will acquire RSA's Archer, NetWitness Platform, SecureID, and Fraud and Risk Intelligence lines, as well as the security industry's massive RSA Conference. The company did not disclose terms of the agreement.

The decision by Dell to sell RSA was not completely unexpected among industry insiders given Dell's move to go public more than a year ago. The deal with a private equity firm basically gives both Dell and RSA more room to reset and evolve their security strategies, industry expert say. Private equity firms increasingly are setting their sights on the security industry due to its rapid and steady growth.

"I don't think RSA was well-aligned with Dell's go-forward strategy for investment," says Amit Yoran, who served as president of RSA from 2014 to 2016 and is now chairman and CEO of Tenable. "We'll see what private equity ownership means for RSA and what their plans are for the future."

Chenxi Wang, founder and general partner with Rain Capital, says Dell likely was under pressure as a publicly traded firm to trim down debt.

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