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Dell's $67 billion EMC deal will transform it into an enterprise giant

Just as rivals like Hewlett-Packard are getting smaller

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Dell has announced that it plans to buy data storage company EMC for $67 billion. The deal will be the largest ever in the history of the tech industry, reports The Financial Times, with EMC agreeing to a sale price worth roughly $33.15 a share. "We’re continuing to evolve the company into the most relevant areas where IT is moving," Dell's founder and chief executive Michael Dell told The New York Times. "This deal just accelerates that."

Dell is getting bigger just as rivals are slimming down

The nature of the planned takeover is complicated, with the agreement reportedly including a "go-shop" provision that allows EMC to consider bids from rival firms. This is intended to reassure EMC's investors that they are getting the best value possible out of the sale. The company is reportedly under pressure from an activist investor, hedge fund Elliott Management, with the Times noting that a potential deal between EMC and Hewlett-Packard already fell apart prior to this. As well as cash, Dell's acquisition will include a special tracking stock that will be issued to investors, accounting for EMC's 81 percent stake in popular cloud software company VMWare (which will remain an independent business).

The deal, which is still pending shareholder approval, will make Dell one of the largest providers of enterprise computing products, with EMC's digital storage business adding to the company's own server and IT services. The company (which is still also the world's third biggest PC manufacturer) says it will be able to offer "end-to-end" solutions to clients. However, the ambitious takeover bucks a trend in the industry, with other firms such as HP and eBay choosing to break up their businesses — rather than make them bigger — to better deal with a changing market. Two years ago, Dell went private in order to reorganize itself without pressure from public investors. This deal could give EMC some similar breathing space.

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