RealTime IT News

Intel Sells Its LANDesk Business

Refocusing its efforts on its chip making business, Intel Wednesday said it is selling some of its software assets.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said it has inked a deal with investment firms Vector Capital, of San Francisco, and vSpring Capital, of Salt Lake City to spin off Intel's LANDesk software product line as an independent company.

To help with the current buyout, Vector and vSpring have formed LANDesk Acquisition Corporation. Intel said it will retain a minority equity position in the business, which will be managed through Intel Capital. Specific financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

LANDesk came into Intel's control under its Software Products & Services Division after a 1991 acquisition of privately held LANSystems. The products were developed to help companies remotely fix desktop problems; keep servers healthy and running; keep tabs on hardware and software inventory; and maintain software licenses.

The products were part of the No. 1 chipmaker's attempts at keeping its toes in the software game. LANDesk's products won awards but not market share from heftier competition like Microsoft's Systems Management Server and Hewlett-Packard's Openview for Windows.

The LANDesk business unit employs about 150 people. The new business will have its North American headquarters in the Salt Lake City area.

"LANDesk products played a defining role in the creation of the desktop management category over a decade ago and have continued to provide innovative solutions for managing servers, desktops and mobile devices," said Ed Ekstrom, managing partner of vSpring. "We believe this transaction will benefit many other software companies by having the LANDesk business continue to be part of the critical mass of the region."

The new company will also be led by CEO Joe Wang, most recently vice president of Symantec Corporation's Enterprise Administration Division, and previously founder and CEO of 20/20 Software. John Sutherland, formerly general manager of the business for Intel, is expected to remain with the business as vice president of operations.

"As an independent company, the LANDesk business is positioned to become the leader in desktop and device management for medium and large companies," Wang said in a statement. "Our commitment to the LANDesk products, customers and channel partners remains a top priority. We plan to make the transition seamless for our customers and partners as we support and grow the LANDesk product line with increased and dedicated resources."

Intel said it will also provide transition services to the LANDesk business for a period of time, including production and order fulfillment.

This is not the first time Intel has exited a business line. In October 2001, the company decided to abandon its IntelPlay line of PC-connected digital cameras, digital-audio players and toys.