EMC explores merger, holds talks with Dell, HP

By Reuters

Sep 22, 2014 05:00 AM EDT

Data storage products maker EMC Corp (EMC.N) held merger talks with rivals Dell Inc [DI.UL] and Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N), the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

Under pressure from an activist shareholder and the expected retirement of its longtime CEO, the company is exploring options including a sale, the report said. (on.wsj.com/1B0yKkL)

On the talks with Dell, given the relative sizes of the companies, Dell may not contemplate a full takeover of EMC, but may explore buying assets including its core storage business, the Journal reported.

Merger talks between HP and EMC, which were on for about a year, broke down weeks ago over financial terms and over fear that shareholders of both the companies would reject the deal. Status of the talks between EMC and Dell remains unclear, the WSJ reported.

EMC and HP declined to comment on the report. Dell could not be reached for comment outside regular business hours.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) is advising EMC on its options, the report said.

In July, hedge fund Elliott Management picked up a stake in EMC and urged its CEO Joe Tucci, who is expected to retire in February, to spin off its stake in software maker VMware Inc (VMW.N), saying the move would boost the value of the two assets.

Elliott Management also declined to comment on the report.

EMC, which owns about 80 percent of software maker VMware, bought the company in 2004 for $700 million. VMware accounted for about 22 percent of EMC's revenue of $23.2 billion in 2013.

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