Dell reportedly considers IPO, VMWare deal

The tech giant may be considering "strategic options" to raise fresh funds.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer on

Dell is exploring "strategic options" to boost revenue and raise funds which may include an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

According to the Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter, Dell may launch an IPO, as well as purchase the remainder of VMWare.

In 2016, Dell acquired EMC in a deal worth $67 billion. The agreement also included EMC's majority stake in VMWare, now a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, which develops cloud computing and platform virtualization software.

Bloomberg reports that a board meeting scheduled to take place later this month will see executives come together to discuss potential options -- or reject such ideas altogether.

Data compiled by the publication suggests that due to the EMC acquisition, Dell is still carrying approximately $46 billion in debt.

A little over four years ago, founder and CEO Michael Dell took his company private with the assistance of Silver Lake. After more than two decades on the stock market, the executive led the shift to make Dell go private in a deal worth $24 billion.

Michael Dell earned the ire of shareholders and investors including Carl Icahn, who suggested the buyout was little more than a way for the founder to buy back the company cheaply.

By going private, Dell no longer had to provide quarterly statements for investors, but it may be that the EMC acquisition has stretched the company coffers too thin.

An IPO could raise additional funds, as could the acquisition of the remaining shares in VMWare, with the cloud service provider's shares remaining strong. However, it has also been reported that Dell is considering a public share sale for the firm's cloud computing venture Pivotal Software.

According to one of Bloomberg's sources, Dell met with bankers last year to discuss a potential share sale and was informed the move could raise as much as $7 billion.

The strategic review is still in preliminary stages, and shifts in focus resulting in a VMWare acquisition or IPO may not be debt-led, but rather a return to Wall Street for other business purposes.

The Financial Times suggests Dell already has other ways to "raise cash" if required.

Dell has refused to comment on the report.

According to the latest IDC forecast, the PC market, a key area for Dell, is finally showing signs of stabilization after being rocked through the increase in mobile device adoption.

See also: Zero-day vulnerabilities hijack full Dell EMC Data Protection Suite

2017 marked the most stable year for the PC market since 2011, and the year's shipment volume reached 259.5 million units.

HP claimed a market share of 23.5 percent in Q4, followed by Lenovo with 22.2 percent. Dell snagged third place with an estimated market share of 15.7 percent in Q4 2017.

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