A growing list of leading technology companies have taken themselves off the public markets in recent years to go down the road of private ownership since Michael Dell embarked on one of the biggest privatisations in corporate history.
From enterprise software firms to hardware vendors, systems integrators and major resellers, some of the biggest players in the industry are choosing to eschew the spotlight of shareholder scrutiny in a bid for greater manoeuvrability afforded by stepping away from Wall Street.
Here are some of the biggest names to go private in recent years...
Buy-out cost: $28 billion
Perhaps the most high profile company to go private in recent years, CEO Michael Dell finally won a battle to takeover over the firm he created in his dorm room in late 2013. The deal - worth $28 billion – was aimed at speeding a much needed overhaul of the business as it shifted focus from the declining PC market to enterprise services.
Buy-out cost: $6.4 billion
Around the same time as Dell, systems management software vendor BMC was going down the same trail following pressure from investors. In September 2013 a $6.4 billion takeover deal was struck with private equity companies Bain Capital and Golden Gate Capital.
The firm said the deal would allow it to “invest more strategically to drive powerful innovation and deliver cutting edge customer solutions", while commentators highlighted the need to adapt to the cloud.
Buy-out cost: $2.5 billion
Mainframe software firm Compuware followed suit in September 2014, with equity investment firm Thoma Bravo purchasing the company outright for approximately $2.5 billion.
"Compuware is now best suited to focus on its core mainframe and [application performance management] businesses as a private-equity backed company," said Bob Paul, Compuware CEO, in a statement.
Buy-out cost: $4.3 billion
During the same month, data analytics giant Tibco agreed a deal with Vista Equity Partners to take the middleware software vendor private in a deal valuing the company at $4.3 billion.
“The sale of Tibco to Vista will provide our shareholders with immediate and substantial cash value, as well as a compelling premium, and the Board has unanimously agreed that this transaction is in the best interests of all our stakeholders,” said Vivek Ranadivé, Chairman and CEO of Tibco in a statement.
Earlier this month, enterprise data integration provider Informatica opted for private ownership after striking a deal with private equity firm Permira and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The deal was thought to be worth $48.75 a share.
Buy-out cost: $5.3 billion
The most recent privatisation, WAN optimisation specialist was snapped up by Thoma Bravo – also involved in the Compuware deal – and Teachers’ Private Capital.
Buy-out cost: £1.27 billion
It has not only been US firms that have been going private in recent years though. British financial services software supplier made the transition in 2012 with Vista Equity, which is now believed to be mulling a sale of the firm after its acquisition of Tibco.
8. And three billion dollar firms that have always remained private: SAS
Not all tech giants are attracted by the bright light of a market flotation, managing to grow to become multi-billion dollar businesses without stock market investment.
For instance, data analytics firm SAS has grown its business to $3.09 billion in revenues in the years since it began in 1976. While it is rumoured the company considered an IPO in 1999, the company has remained private throughout its history.
9. World Wide Technology
With annual sales of $6.7 billion, the American systems integrator is one of the country’s largest private companies.
10. Kingston Technology
The memory and storage vendor – with $6 billion in revenues - has also resisted an IPO since it began in 1987.