The possibility that VMware could merge with Dell Technologies took another turn Friday when Dell confirmed it is evaluating a potential combination with the Palo Alto-based cloud and virtualization-software company.
Earlier this week, reports said VMware was looking into acquiring Dell in a reverse merger that would possibly be the biggest deal ever in the tech industry. Dell owns about 80 percent of VMware, which it acquired when it bought EMC for $67 billion in 2016. EMC had been a longtime owner of a majority stake in VMware.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dell said it is "evaluating potential business opportunities, including a potential public offering of Dell Technologies common stock or a potential business combination between Dell Technologies" and VMware.
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger said in a statement that called Dell remains "a tremendous partner," but added, "we are not in a position to speculate on the outcome of Dell's evaluation of potential business opportunities."
Dell founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell took Dell private in a leveraged buyout in 2013. And while Dell said in the SEC filing that it is considering going public again, and mulling "maintaining the status quo" of the companies' business arrangement, it added that it has no intention of selling itself to VMware, or anyone else.
Rob Enderle, technology analyst and director of the Enderle Group, said one of the reasons Dell may be considering going public again is because of the recent changes to corporate tax law, which Enderle said puts a 30 percent cap on interest deductions that a company can take.
"This is the most likely driver to get Michael Dell to consider going back to becoming public, something he has publicly been very much against up till now," Enderle said. "And it would allow Dell's existing investors to take profit and gain liquidity during a time when the stock market is likely to become more volatile."
VMware shares edged up by 0.1 percent, to $125.77, after the latest statements about Dell. However, VMware's stock price has fallen by 16 percent since the reports regarding Dell became public Monday.
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Image credit: VMware; iStock/Artist's concept.