Dell to sell RSA to private equity group for $2 billion

RSA CEO Rohit Ghai speaks at the 2018 RSA Conference. Dell has announced it will sell its RSA unit to a private equity firm. (RSA Conference)

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RSA will soon have a new parent company.

Dell Technologies said Tuesday it intends to sell RSA, a security vendor known for its access management, fraud prevention and threat detection offerings, to a consortium led by private equity firm Symphony Technologies Group. The two sides have entered into a “definitive agreement” for an all-cash transaction worth $2.075 billion, Dell said in a statement Tuesday.

The deal was first reported Sunday by the Wall Street Journal.

The deal includes products and services including RSA Archer, RSA NetWitness Platform RSA SecurID, RSA Fraud and Risk Intelligence and the RSA Conference, a large security conference scheduled to hold its 2020 event starting Feb. 25 in San Francisco.

Symphony Technology Group entered the security industry last year, with its acquisition of a majority stake in the risk scoring company RedSeal for a reported $70 million. Other investors in RSA include the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and AlpInvest Partners, another private equity asset manager.

During an interview last year, Rohit Ghai, president of RSA Security, said the company was exploring partnerships that would allow the company to integrate new technology into RSA’s software tools. Other security executives repeatedly have said that, as large vendors race to offer new software and attract new customers, the ability to raise money is essential. RSA may now have access to funds from a private equity banker to increase its sales (the company has more than 12,500 customers now).

“[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 our opportunities for our partner ecosystem,” Ghai said in a statement Tuesday.

Another private equity firm, Advent International, said earlier this month announced its intention to acquire Forescout Technologies for $1.9 billion in cash. Before that, LogMeIn, the parent company behind the password management company LastPass, agreed to be acquired by two private equity firms for $4.3 billion, and Thoma Bravo said in October it would spend $3.8 billion for Sophos.

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