Dell Technologies (Dell) is reportedly considering going public again through a traditional initial public offering (IPO) instead of buying VMware tracking stock. This Dell IPO rumor is the latest to swirl around the two companies since they confirmed they were mulling a merger in February.
In July Dell and VMware said they reached a $9 billion deal under which Dell would acquire DVMT, the stock that tracks Dell’s controlling stake in VMware. Dell owns 81 percent of VMware. It issued the tracking stock to fund its EMC acquisition in 2016. Tracking stock shareholders would receive $109 per share under this deal. And buying DVMT would allow Dell to be publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange without a formal IPO.
Investors representing about 20 percent of the tracking shares are prepared to reject this deal, the Wall Street Journal reports. Citing sources familiar with the matter, it says these shareholders include Elliott Management, Carl Icahn, some teams at BlackRock, Dodge & Cox, Farallon Capital Management, and Canyon Capital Advisors.
An IPO is Dell’s backup plan.
A Dell spokesperson said the company is not commenting on the rumors. He pointed to comments that Tom Sweet, Dell Technologies CFO, made at last week’s investor meeting in New York. Sweet called the tracking stock deal “an extraordinarily fair offer.”
“We don’t need to do the transaction,” Sweet said. “But we do think that aligning interests would be, I think, mutually beneficial in the sense of making sure that we align the interest of all our shareholders under one umbrella of equity I think makes a lot of sense for us as we think about long-term value creation.”
If shareholders vote down the deal, Dell will “go back to status quo and we’ll think our way through, and we’ll continue to run the business,” he added.
Dell’s interviews with investment banks this week have postponed the company’s previously planned meetings with tracking stock investors that were supposed to happen this week and next, Reuters reports.