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Merger Chat: Did EMC Nearly Get Bought?

Merger Chat: Did EMC Nearly Get Bought?
Eric Wright, vExpert, Cisco Champion

The Twitterverse was alight with activity today as rumours began to swirl about a merger talks that are being said to have occurred with storage giant EMC, and competitor companies HP and Dell. This move was urged by activist shareholder in EMC, and is being pushed to align with the upcoming retirement of EMC Chief Executive Officer, Joe Tucci, in February.

Should VMware Stay or Go?

Another hot topic that has been active recently was the talk around EMC potentially divesting its 80% stake in virtualization leader VMware. There are many camps on this decision since VMware was responsible for a 22% share of the overall revenue of EMC in 2013.

Reuters issued a press release today regarding the overall discussions which touches on all of these issues. This now raises the question of whether these were discussions that closed out without resolution, or if they are a sign of something still on the horizon.

Merger of Equals: Or is it?

The general phrase being attached to the discussions is that a move would have been dubbed a “merger of equals” given the size of both sides of the negotiation table. There is always the thought that two large organizations can do this style of zipper like join of resources, but in practice it generally doesn’t stay balanced as the integration really takes hold.

HP and Dell would bring a broad ecosystem to the table, and EMC is an obvious darling to have as a part of the manufacturing and supply chain, not to mention the massive pool if intellectual property, patents, and workforce that drive the storage juggernaut today.

There will be much to watch over the coming weeks and months as these companies position themselves on the proverbial chess board. While HP and Dell were clearly mentioned by the sources of the Reuters article, Cisco is also a company that could become a potential suitor if a true merger of equals is meant to be.

At this point, most of the discussions are based on assumptions and supposition, but it is a sign that there is some tumult in the industry, and that even the once unthinkable, may in fact be entirely possible.

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