According to reports, Dell is set to announce that it’s acquiring data storage provider EMC Corp. in a more than $50 billion deal, creating a corporate-computing giant in the largest-ever innovation merger.
The offer amounts to slightly more than $25 a share in cash, in addition to tracking stock in cloud software maker VMware Inc. valued at about $8 for each EMC share bringing the overall value to $33 per share.
The companies haven’t signed on the dotted line yet, as they were still negotiating a so-called collar around the VMware stock, according reports. In a stock merger agreement, collars safeguard buyers and sellers against steep fluctuations in the price of a security in the time between signing the deal and closing.
Dell is on talks with banks to raise at least $40 billion to finance the deal. VMware, which makes tools that assist servers with running programming all the more effectively, is valued at around $32.3 billion, while EMC has a market capitalization of $53.6 billion. The deal would obscure the pending $37 billion Broadcom-Avago merger, currently the biggest tech tie-up.
The deal would incorporate EMC’s leadership in digital storage with Dell’s share of the market for servers, which businesses use for computing tasks. Dell, which was taken private for about $25 billion in 2013, could utilize the mix to expand its product lineup in high-end data storage equipment and look to beckon customers away from Hewlett-Packard Co. and other rivals.
An agreement would shed light over leadership succession at EMC and help to rectify a standoff with activist investors. EMC had been looking at strategic options for enhancing its share price, while activist investor Elliott Management Corp. had compelled EMC to sell itself or spin off VMware. Joe Tucci, EMC chief executive officer had delayed his planned retirement amid the disagreement. The current plan would have Michael Dell lead the combined entity, according to reports.
While a merger would make one of the greatest suppliers of enterprise computing products, that would likewise conflict with prevailing trend in technology of focusing on fewer businesses to compete against nimbler competitors. Hewlett-Packard Co. is splitting in two one month from now, a step that EBay Inc. took beginning this year. Though Dell and EMC have worked together for years and have corresponding societies, the sheer size of a combined entity could moderate choice making and hamper fast product advancement.