Dell Technologies could emerge as a public company through a reverse-merger with VMware, the $60 billion cloud computing company it already controls, according to people familiar with the matter.
The reverse merger, whereby VMware would actually buy the larger Dell, would then allow Dell to be traded publicly without going through a formal listing. It would also likely be the biggest deal in tech industry history, giving investors who backed Dell's move to go private in 2013 a way to monetize their deal, while helping Dell pay down some of its approximately $50 billion debt.
VMware's stock fell sharply on the news. At midday, it was down 8.5 percent.
While Dell may also pursue a more traditional initial public offering, said the people, a reverse merger would allow the company to avoid a new public offering. Dell hasn't decided on a strategic option and is also considering several other paths forward, including other acquisitions or buying the remaining stake of VMware it doesn't own, as has been previously reported. Dell is unlikely to sell the company outright or sell its stake in VMware, one of the people said. News of Dell's interest in returning to the public markets was previously reported by Bloomberg.