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Francisco Partners and Elliott Management Complete Acquisition of Dell Software Group

Press Releases — Nov 01, 2016



Deal Facts

North America


Francisco Partners and Elliott Management Complete Acquisition of Dell Software Group and Announce the Formation of Two Separate Companies – Quest and SonicWall

• Jeff Hawn named CEO of Quest
• Bill Conner named CEO of SonicWall

Francisco Partners, a leading technology-focused private equity firm, and Elliott Management Corporation today announced they have completed the previously announced acquisition of the Dell Software Group from Dell, Inc., including both Quest and SonicWall. The acquisition bolsters Francisco Partners and Elliott Management’s technology portfolios with the addition of two companies focused on systems and information management, identity and access management, and security solutions.

Quest and SonicWall will operate as independent companies going forward. “We believe there is significant opportunity to create value for all stakeholders involved by operating Quest and SonicWall as two separate companies,” said Dipanjan “DJ” Deb, Francisco Partners’ co-founder and CEO. “Both companies have very strong product portfolios and loyal customers, but operate in very different markets. As standalone businesses, Quest and SonicWall will have the resources, focus and independence required to drive the next stage of growth for each company.”

Francisco Partners and Elliott Management also announced that Jeff Hawn and Bill Conner will join as the CEOs of Quest and SonicWall, respectively.

“I am enthused to lead Quest into a new era and continue delivering the proven market-leading solutions that address the most critical IT pain-points,” said Hawn. “I look forward to working with the broader Quest team, Francisco Partners, and Elliott Management to drive product innovation and business growth for our loyal customers and partners.”

Hawn brings more than 15 years of experience as a software company executive. Previously, Hawn was Chairman and CEO of Vertafore, a software provider for the insurance industry, and prior to that was Chairman and CEO of The Attachmate Group, a provider of identity and infrastructure enterprise software.

“We are excited about the opportunity at Quest, and we look forward to working with Jeff and the Quest team in enabling their customers to leverage existing IT investments as they transition to new computing environments,” said Brian Decker, a Principal at Francisco Partners. Quest’s solutions help customers of all sizes reduce the time and money spent on IT administration so they have more time to focus on and invest in business innovation. With Quest, customers can automate complex processes, optimize application experiences, and enable data-driven decision making, all while modernizing for the cloud with accuracy and security. Quest’s solutions span critical areas of the hybrid-cloud management landscape, including database management, data protection, endpoint systems management, and Microsoft platform management. Quest also includes One Identity, a provider of identity governance, privileged management and access management solutions in the identity and access management (IAM) market.

SonicWall is the leading provider of best-in-class global business network security solutions to small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises worldwide. With businesses increasingly focused on securing their data, SonicWall’s offerings provide businesses with sophisticated network security, access security and e-mail security that is simple to use.

“SonicWall’s industry leading products, respected brand name, and channel relationships—combined with increasing adoption of advanced network security solutions—create an exciting opportunity to join the company,” Conner said. “I am very excited to be a part of SonicWall and, with the support of Francisco Partners and Elliott Management, we will continue to provide industry leading security solutions to our customers.”

Conner brings more than 30 years of experience in the networking and security industries, most recently as President and CEO of Silent Circle, an encrypted communications provider, and prior to that served as President and CEO of Entrust, an identity-based data security solutions provider. Previously, Conner was President of Enterprise Networks for Nortel Networks.

“We see tremendous growth opportunities ahead for SonicWall, and we are thrilled to be partnering with Bill and the rest of the SonicWall team to continue delivering market leading security solutions,” said David Golob, Francisco Partners’ Chief Investment Officer.

“Elliott has been a long-term investor in the technology sector and the acquisitions of Quest Software and SonicWall continue this trend,” said Jesse Cohn, Senior Portfolio Manager at Elliott Management. “These acquisitions represent a significant deal by Evergreen Coast Capital, Elliott’s recently established Menlo Park affiliate. We look forward to partnering with Jeff, Bill and Francisco Partners to create significant value at these two companies.”

For more information on Quest, go to:

For more information on SonicWall, go to:

About Francisco Partners
Francisco Partners is a leading global private equity firm, which specializes in investments in technology and technology-enabled services businesses. Since its launch over 15 years ago, Francisco Partners has raised approximately $10 billion in capital and invested in more than 150 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. The firm invests in transaction values ranging from $50 million to over $2 billion, where the firm's deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential.

About Elliott
Elliott Management Corporation manages two multi-strategy hedge funds which combined have approximately $29 billion of assets under management. Its flagship fund, Elliott Associates, L.P., was founded in 1977 making it one of the oldest hedge funds under continuous management. The Elliott funds’ investors include pension plans, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, foundations, funds-of funds, high net worth individuals and families, and employees of the firm. This investment is being led out of Evergreen Coast Capital, Elliott’s Menlo Park affiliate, which focuses on technology investing.

About Quest
Quest helps solve the complex technology and security problems that stand in the way of organizations’ ability to always be ready for what’s next. With Quest solutions, companies of all sizes can reduce the time and money spent on IT administration and security, so they have more time to focus on and invest in business innovation. Quest has more than 100,000 customers worldwide across its portfolio of software solutions spanning database management, data protection, endpoint systems management, identity and access management, and Microsoft platform management.

About SonicWall
Over a 25 year history, SonicWall has been the industry’s trusted security partner. From network security to access security to email security, SonicWall has continuously evolved its product portfolio, enabling organizations to innovate, accelerate and grow. With over a million security devices in almost 200 countries and territories worldwide, SonicWall customers can confidently say yes to the future. For more information, visit