SAN FRANCISCO — EMC Corp. shares are up 6% in after-hours trading on a report that it’s in talks with computer maker Dell.
Dell is discussing a partial or full takeover of EMC EMC, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
It would be one of the largest tech industry mergers. EMC has market capitalization of $50 billion.
The data storage company, under pressure from activist investors, has been exploring options since last year. Dell was taken private in a $25 billion buyout led by its founder Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake in 2013. The company that made its name in personal computers is focusing on storage and security.
Dell and EMC could not be immediately reached for comment.
EMC, based in Hopkinton, Mass., rode high in the 1990s as companies bought storage gear. As customers reduced spending on storage gear, EMC has overhauled its products to meet the needs of mobile devices and other technologies.
Merger talks with Hewlett-Packard HPQ ahttp://www.usatoday.com/money/lookup/stocks/HPQ/nd Dell have been rumored. At the same time, EMC has come under growing pressure to lift its stock price. Last year activist hedge fund Elliott Management took a 2% stake in the company and pressed for EMC to spin off its VMware subsidiary. EMC owns 80% of VMware, which has a market value of $34 billion.
EMC is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Oct. 21, turning up the heat on EMC.
Adding fuel to the fire: EMC’s chief executive Joe Tucci has indicated he may retire at the beginning of 2016. Tucci has deflected questions about it and no succession plan has been announced.
EMC has an array of options, said Daniel Ives, an analyst with FBR Capital Markets. But Ives called the Dell combination a “head scratcher.”
“You can see why Dell would want to merge with EMC because of the storage capabilities,” he said. “But for EMC in our opinion, this would be a one plus one equals 1.5 situation.”
“An EMC and Dell merger is not what the Street was hoping for,” he added. “Merging with a Dell is not something that’s going to be loudly applauded.”
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