For more than a decade, the hedge fund Elliott Management has focused on shaking up technology businesses with activist shareholder campaigns, urging companies to sell themselves.
Now the hedge fund has taken a big step into the business of buying companies outright.
Elliott and the private equity firm Francisco Partners said Monday that they would buy Dell’s software businesses. A price was not disclosed, although it is estimated to be more than $2 billion.
The two are getting a mix of software makers that Dell acquired over the years, including the security provider SonicWall and the information technology manager Quest Software. Dell had looked to sell the businesses in part to help raise cash to support its debt-heavy takeover of EMC Software, which faces a vote by EMC shareholders next month.
Elliott has dabbled in private equity before, but in small ways. The hedge fund has offered to buy companies like Novell during activist campaigns, though largely as a tactic to try to prod those businesses into putting themselves up for sale.
And it has rolled over its stakes in other companies, including BMC and Blue Coat, when other financiers have bought control.
But the deal announced Monday was one of the first, and the biggest so far, struck by the partnership.