EMC explores merger, holds talks with Dell and HP

Faber: Hewlett-Packard & EMC held talks for months
Faber: Hewlett-Packard & EMC held talks for months   

Data storage products maker EMC Corp. held merger talks with rivals Dell and Hewlett-Packard, CNBC has confirmed.

News of the talks was originally the reported in the Wall Street Journal, 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.

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While CEO and founder Michael Dell would not address any specifics, he told CNBC Monday, "We're very interested in the storage market. Certainly as there are opportunities to expand inorganically, we'll consider those. Don't have any comments on a specific idea that may be out there."

EMC EARNS
Neal Hamberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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.

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.

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

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JPMorgan Chase 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, saying the move would boost the value of the two assets.

Elliott pushes to break up EMC
Elliott pushes to break up EMC   

Elliott Management also declined to comment on the report.

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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.

Programming note: Tune into "Squawk Alley" Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. for Jon Fortt's full interview with CEO Michael Dell.

By Reuters. CNBC contributed to this report.