Dell Technologies confirmed rumors that it is considering “potential business opportunities,” including a “combination with VMware,” in a document filed Feb. 2 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The company is also evaluating a public offering and “business as usual,” according to the document.
Dell Technologies owns about 80 percent of VMware, which it acquired from the Dell-EMC merger in 2016. A reverse merger with VMware would allow Dell Technologies to be traded publicly without going through a formal listing.
“We are not in a position to speculate on the outcome of Dell’s evaluation of potential business opportunities,” said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger in a statement. “Dell has been a tremendous partner since it became our majority owner and as we’ve accelerated our growth. We look forward to Dell’s continued support as we work to execute our growth plans in the years ahead.”
Owner Michael Dell took his company private in 2013, partnering with Silver Lake to buy out shareholders for a reported $25 billion.
Three years later Dell bought storage provider EMC for $67 billion in a deal that created the largest privately controlled technology company in the world. It renamed the company Dell Technologies, and its brands include Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware.
Dell Technologies also acquired massive debt from the EMC deal that it hasn’t paid off. In its quarterly earnings report last month, Dell Technologies reported an operating loss of $533 million, largely due to the debt incurred from the Dell EMC merger.
VMware plans to form a special committee of board directors to consider a combination with Dell Technologies, according to a Reuters report, which cites sources familiar with the matter. The committee’s job will be to ensure the merger safeguards the interests of VMware minority shareholders.
“The VMware Board of Directors is committed to creating value for, and protecting the interests of, all stockholders,” said Paul Sagan, lead director of the VMware board of directors, in a statement on the company’s website. “The Board of Directors follows sound corporate governance practices, and will continue to do so in connection with any potential transaction involving our controlling stockholders. We are fortunate to have on the Board experienced independent directors who will continue to act in the best interests of all VMware stockholders.”
Photo: VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger via drserg / 123RF Stock Photo