Dell sells consulting division to Japan’s NTT Data Corp

Michael DellDell is set to announce an agreement to sell its non-core information technology consulting division to Japan’s NTT Data Corp for $3.5 billion.

The move will allow Dell to trim some of the $43 billion in debt it is taking on to fund its pending cash-and-stock acquisition of data storage provider EMC, which is worth close to $60 billion.

NTT Data will have a bigger foothold in the United States, where it is looking to expand in healthcare IT, insurance and financial services consulting.

Announcement of any agreement is subject to NTT Data’s board approving the deal when it meets in Tokyo. Neither side is saying anything, although the deal had been rumoured for a couple of weeks.

Formerly known as Perot Systems, Dell’s IT services division is a major provider of technology consulting to hospitals and government departments. It was founded in 1988 by former US presidential candidate Ross Perot and was acquired by Dell in 2009 for $3.9 billion.

Dell has since divested some of the unit’s operations and integrated some others, which it is not including in the sale. Basically these are the same bits of the company which are redundant if Dell gets its paws on EMC.

Dell has also been speaking to private equity firms about selling Quest Software, which helps with information technology management, as well as SonicWall, an e-mail encryption and data security provider, Reuters has previously reported. Together, Quest and SonicWall could be worth up to $4 billion.