Dell Files Confidentially for IPO of Cybersecurity Unit SecureWorks

October 9, 2015

Telis Demos and Dana Cimilluca

Dell Inc. has filed confidentially for an initial public offering of its cybersecurity unit, Dell SecureWorks Inc., as the personal-computer maker plots a dramatic reshaping of its businesses.

The software and consulting firm, which Dell acquired in 2011, filed papers for the IPO over the summer and has been working with banks including Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley and on the potential deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

The roadshow to market the stock to investors could launch as soon as December, the people added—meaning the stock could start trading around the end of the year. The business could be worth as much as $2 billion, though the target valuation isn’t yet finalized, some the people said.

Separating out SecureWorks is part of a broader strategic rethinking at the company founded by Michael Dell in a dorm room in 1984. Dell went private in a roughly $25 billion buyout by Mr. Dell and private-equity firm Silver Lake in 2013. The two are now in advanced negotiations to acquire data-storage giant EMC Corp. for more than $60 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. SecureWorks is now less of strategic fit with Dell’s other offerings, which include servers, storage and networking gear, said one of the people.

Under a 2012 law, companies with annual revenue of less than $1 billion are allowed to make a secret IPO filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. They must lift the veil on the filing at least 21 days before the roadshow begins.

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