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Broadcom is acquiring VMware for $61 billion

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It will be one of the biggest tech deals of all time

Broadcom Expected To Beat Quarterly Earnings Expectations Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Broadcom is acquiring VMware in a $61 billion cash-and-stock deal. It’s one of the biggest tech acquisitions ever, behind Dell’s $67 billion EMC deal and Microsoft’s pending acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion. Broadcom is known for its chip business, designing and manufacturing semiconductors for modems, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth chips across multiple devices.

This giant acquisition for VMware is designed to boost Broadcom’s software business. VMware, which was owned by Dell until it was spun off last year, focuses on cloud computing and virtualization technology. If you’ve used a virtual machine at work over the past decade, the chances are it was powered by VMware or its competitor Citrix. Devices from Apple, Google, and more use Broadcom chips, and it’s likely that the devices you’ve used Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on were probably powered by Broadcom chips at some part of the networking chain.

A Broadcom networking chip.
Image: Broadcom

The combination of VMware and Broadcom could be a powerful one, focused on enterprise infrastructure and cloud computing. Broadcom previously acquired CA Technologies, makers of security and database software, for $18.9 billion in 2018, and it even acquired Symantec’s enterprise security unit for $10.7 billion in 2019. Less than 12 months later, it sold the Symantec business to Accenture for an undisclosed sum.

Broadcom is now planning to rebrand its Broadcom Software Group to VMware and incorporate its existing infrastructure and security software offerings as part of VMware. “Combining our assets and talented team with Broadcom’s existing enterprise software portfolio, all housed under the VMware brand, creates a remarkable enterprise software player,” says Raghu Raghuram, CEO of VMware.

The deal, which is expected to close in Broadcom’s fiscal year 2023, has the backing of Michael Dell who together with Silver Lake owns around 50 percent of VMware. If the deal closes, it will be one of the largest tech deals of all time. Broadcom previously failed to buy rival chipmaker Qualcomm for more than $100 billion after the Trump administration blocked the deal, citing national security concerns.