Dell Edges Closer To Selling Perot Systems, Enters Exclusive Negotiation With NTT

Dell has inched one step closer to selling its Perot Systems business, entering into an exclusive 30-day negotiating period with NTT Data, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.

France-based Atos dropped out of the bidding for Perot last week, according to reports, leaving India-based Tata and NTT Data of Tokyo to vie for the IT consulting unit.

NTT, parent of Dimension Data, was in exclusive negotiations for Perot as of last week, although differences over the price, which have plagued the deal for months, remained, according to a Reuters report.

Related: Report: Dell Hits Financing Hiccup In Blockbuster $67B EMC Acquisition

Tuesday, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told CRN Dell had a 30-day exclusive agreement with NTT, but did not know how close the parties might be to signing a purchase agreement. The source wished to remain anonymous because the negotiations are confidential.

"This is good for all parties and allows Dell to maintain focus on the EMC acquisition and its commitment to the channel," said Stephen Monteros, vice president of sales at Ontario, Calif.-based Dell partner Sigmanet.

Monteros said the Perot sale is likely to drive more services business for his company and the channel.

Sigmanet, Monteros said, has partnered with Dell on services for the past two or three years and has pulled in $4 million to $5 million in revenue annually as a result. He said the company expects to easily double that this year.

Dell also expects a huge opportunity for partners as a result of the Perot sale, as the company leans on partners to become go-to resources for customers that want to maintain tight control of core workloads, sources said.

The company intends to use partners to make an aggressive push in enterprise solutions as customers' infrastructure ecosystems and consumption models evolve and move away from the "manage my mess for less" model.

Dell Services, which includes Perot sales, ranked No. 9 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500. In Dell's fiscal year 2012, ended Feb. 1, 2013, Dell Services accounted for $8.4 billion in annual sales.

Dell acquired Perot in 2009 for about $3.9 billion, but has run into difficulty reaching its $5 billion asking price with several potential buyers, including NTT, Tata, Atos and Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. Part of the problem is that Perot's value has declined along with the overall IT outsourcing market.

Perot has a strong presence in the government and health care industries and was founded by Texas billionaire and erstwhile presidential candidate H. Ross Perot.

Unloading the unit would provide Dell with cash it needs to help pay down the $49.5 billion in debt it expects to take on as part of its acquisition of EMC Corp. The acquisition is expected to close between May and October, and Dell has said it intends to aggressively pay down debt during the first 18 to 24 months after the closing.

In addition to Perot, Dell has been trying to sell its Qwest software business and its SonicWall security business, which together could bring as much as $4 billion.

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