Dell to acquire EMC in $67 billion mega-deal

Dell Inc. will acquire enterprise storage vendor EMC Corp. for cash and stock in a deal valued at $67 billion, the firms announced this morning.

The deal gives EMC shareholders $24.05 in cash and a special stock that tracks the price of VMware, which EMC owns but operates as an independent business. VMware is going to remain a publicly traded company. EMC’s stock hovered around the $27 mark on Friday, but was trading in the mid $28-range as markets opened on Monday morning.

The deal is the largest ever in terms of dollar value for the IT industry. The previous record-holder for biggest acquisition was HP’s 2002 purchase of Compaq for $33.4 billion in combined cash and stock.

In a press release from Dell, the acquisition is described as putting the newly-joined firms in a leadership position in the IT market. Its strong suits will be servers, storage, virtualization, and PCs, and its growth areas will be digital transformation, software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, converged infrastructure, mobile and security.

Dell’s business has focused on devices and services for the mid-market, while EMC has targeted large enterprise.

“If you look at this industry that Michael and I loved and grew up in, it’s going through a tremendous transformation… and there’s an incredibly disruptive side to it,” said EMC CEO Joe Tucci in a conference call with media on Monday morning. “There’s more opportunity in IT now than there has been in the history of man.”

He pointed to the Internet of Things trend and the need for enterprises to build modern applications that can make sense of the data generated by such devices. This is one area of opportunity the newly formed company could focus its attention to deliver solutions.

“We look at what a company has to go through to handle the disruptive side of this changing wave of IT, and capitalize on this… coming together (with Dell) makes so much sense,” he said.

After the acquisition is completed, Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell, will become the CEO of the combined firms. Michael will own about 70 per cent of EMC’s equity, alongside investors MSD Partners, Silver Lake, and Temasek. The founder took his company private in 2013 after a tumultuous period on the public market, in  a deal worth $25 billion.

Tucci, currently the CEO and chairman of EMC, will remain in his position until the transaction closes. Dell will keep its Round Rock, Texas-based headquarters, and the new combined enterprise systems business will be run out of Hopkinton, Mass.

With the price tag of the acquisition being labelled as the most expensive of all time, the question for many is – did Dell pay too much of a premium?

“Probably,” says Holger Mueller, analyst with Constellation Research. “But this was the last chance to get market share quickly, so if the new Dell can execute on the enterprise side,  no one will talk about the price in a few years. It also shows the power of private companies… EMC, despite larger, could probably not have taken Dell over.”

As the enterprise market moves towards adoption of public cloud infrastructure, Dell must find a way to segue its traditional business to appeal to enterprise customers as a strategic partner, he adds. Through EMC, Dell stands a chance to do that with its storage business, knowledge of loads being run on networks from VMware, and the mobile device management side with AirWatch.



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Brian Jackson
Brian Jackson
Former editorial director of IT World Canada. Current research director at Info-Tech

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