Dell puts RSA on the block

Dell Technologies has hired Morgan Stanley to sell its RSA security business, according to PE Hub.

RSA supplies software to detect cyber-security risks such as fraud and malware. The business has more than 30,000 customers across the globe, generates $170m – $200m EBITDA and could fetch as much as $3bn, according to some estimates. Bloomberg first reported Dell was looking to offload RSA in November.

Dell inherited RSA when it bought EMC for $67bn in 2016. EMC bought RSA for $2.1bn in 2006.

Secure storage

The storage-security combination looks to be synergistic but there are several examples of such synergies evaporating. For example, Symantec (security) bought Veritas (storage) in 2004 and then sold it again in 2015.

Barracuda Networks tried to combine storage and security services and was bought by Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm in 2018. Barracuda now focuses more on security. Acronis seems to be making a go of its data protection and security business and is included in Coldago’s Storage Unicorns’ club.

Dell is reshaping its assets and owns two other security software businesses, Secureworks and, indirectly, Carbon Black, acquired by its subsidiary VMware for $2.1bn in October 2019.

VMware last week completed the $2.7bn acquisition of Pivotal, the application development containerisation and Kubernetes business. The Pivotal history is messy. Pivotal Labs was acquired by EMC in 2012 and spun-out in 2013. The company went public in April 2018.