In a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it’s still considering going public, merging with VMware, or doing nothing. And it added a fourth option: “a potential conversion of shares of Class V Common Stock of Dell into shares of DHI Common Stock of Dell.”
Under this scenario the company would exchange its common stock, privately held by Michael Dell and Silver Lake, for shares of its publicly traded VMware stock that trades under the symbol DVMT. The rest of VMware, which isn’t owned by Dell and Silver Lake, trades publicly under the VMW symbol.
Michael Dell took his company private in 2013, partnering with the private equity firm to buy out shareholders for a reported $25 billion.
Dell Technologies owns about 80 percent of VMware, which it acquired from the Dell-EMC merger in 2016. Dell’s acquisition of EMC also nearly tripled its debt at the time, which Dell Technologies has since been struggling to pay down. This is, in part, why the parent company is considering going public again or being bought out by VMware in a reverse merger. The latter would allow it to become a publicly traded company without a formal initial public offering (IPO).
Dell Technologies would not say when it will make a decision about its future. In an email to SDxCentral, a spokesperson said the most recent SEC filing “is a continuation of the exploratory phase previously outlined in the February 2, 2018 13D/A filing with the SEC. Dell Technologies continues to evaluate a number of potential business opportunities as part of its ongoing multi-year strategic planning, with a desire to grow even faster and thrive in the very dynamic IT marketplace. As our results clearly demonstrate, we do this from a position of financial and business strength. There is no assurance that any of these potential opportunities will be pursued.”
VMware Investors Weigh In
Some VMware investors aren’t too thrilled about the idea of combining with Dell, however.
A reverse merger would be a “terrible deal for VMware shareholders,” according to VMware investor Jericho Capital Asset Management. In a March letter to VMware’s board of directors, the investment firm said the potential transaction would “significantly damage” VMware. It also suggested alternative acquisition targets including Red Hat and Palo Alto Networks.
Jericho Capital and its affiliates own about 1.8 percent of VMware.