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Dell is discussing with banks a merger in conjunction with EMC Corp. This news, Reuters reports, comes by way of "sources familiar with the matter," who say that the number-three PC maker is trying to enhance its cloud presence in an effort to compete with enterprise-focused computer companies like HP and IBM.
If it were to actually come to fruition, the acquisition would be the most significant tech deal in history, considering EMC is worth $52 billion. It would also be a way for Dell to gain some traction in an increasingly dormant PC market.
"Dell and EMC are increasingly competing with the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and others that have deep pockets. Becoming larger would make Dell and EMC of greater strategic importance to their customers," Jefferies tech analysts expressed in a note to their clients. "Secondly, a combination would allow Dell and EMC to provide a more complete private cloud stack."
Approaching the alleged deal, EMC's shares have risen 4.3 percent to $27.07 on the New York Stock Exchange. VMware, EMC's majority parent company, however, saw its share drop 6.2 percent. For the deal to go through, analysts have suggested that an offer of at least $30 per share would be needed from Dell.
That would make the total price of the company a whopping $58 billion. Reuters' sources say that it's too early to start talking about price, however.
Although Dell isn't exactly swimming in cash at the moment, sources say the company is making progress in putting away money for the deal. A banker, who formerly worked on Dell's deal to go private two years ago, predicts that the company is capable of accumulating enough money to purchase EMC, claiming that it needs about $40 billion to do so.
"They could carve it out, do dollars and Euros and also get private financing," said the banker, who wished to remain anonymous. The answer lies in Microsoft and private equity firm Silver Lake, both of which helped Dell to raise $25 billion in its deal to go private.
In any case, Dell would need $28 billion at the very least to buy VMware's shares alone, VMware being the 'cloud virtualization' company who provides its services to companies who want to run x86 software on any display.
Analysts on Wall Street, however, aren't as optimistic that Dell could afford such a financially debilitating acquisition. In fact, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi noted in his research that, "We [Bernstein] don't think that Dell has the financial capacity to buy EMC, even if EMC were to spin-out [VMware]."
That's because Dell is $12 billion in debt, due in part to its ambitious desire to go private in 2013. And that only cost the company half of what it's looking to spend now. Also concerned was Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um who essentially mirrored Sacconaghi's thoughts. "The key question is whether Dell could raise the capital needed to take out EMC," voiced Um.
Both Dell and EMC neglected to comment on the matter.