Capping a process that began late last year, Dell could announce as early as Monday the sale of the company’s IT services unit to Japan’s telecom conglomerate NTT for $3.5 billion, sources briefed on the process tell Re/code.
Dell has been shopping the division — previously known as Perot Services — since last fall as part of a wider effort to raise as much as $10 billion selling assets that aren’t a core part of its business.
The company wants to use those funds to help pay down part of the $50 billion in debt it will incur when it closes on its $67 billion acquisition of data storage company EMC, which would stand as the largest technology deal of all time if it goes through. The sale to NTT is seen as an important signal to the debt markets that Dell will be able to rapidly pay down that debt.
A Dell spokesman had no comment as did a spokesman for Silver Lake, the private equity firm that co-owns Dell. A spokesperson for NTT did not reply to messages left over the weekend.
As recently as December, Dell had hoped to get about $5 billion for the business unit, but sources say NTT is likely to pay slightly north of the $3.5 billion it offered earlier this month. That’s about $400 million lower than the $3.9 billion Dell paid when it acquired Perot Systems in 2009.
During the on-again off-again sale process, Dell approached several international IT consultancy companies including India’s Tata Consultancy Services, Genpact, a U.S.-based firm and CGI, a Canadian IT company. Talks with the French IT services firm Atos reached an advanced stage in January. Sources said the talks ended when the two sides couldn’t agree on a price, and also because Atos’ share price fell.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.