Dell announced this afternoon that it’s spinning out VMware, a move that has been suspected for some time. Dell, acquired VMware as part of the massive $58 billion EMC acquisition (announced as $67 billion) in 2015.
The way that the deal works is that Dell plans to offer VMware shareholders a special dividend of between $11.5 and 12 billion. As Dell owns approximately 81% of those shares that would work out to somewhere between $9.3 and $9.7 billion coming into Dell’s coffers when the deal closes later this year.
Dell shares are up more than 8% following the announcement. The company intends on using parts of its proceeds to deleverage, writing in a release that it will use “net proceeds to pay down debt, positioning the company well for Investment Grade ratings.” By that it means that Dell will reduce its net debt position and, it hopes, garner a stronger credit rating that will limit its future borrowing costs.
Even when it was part of EMC, VMware had a special status in that it operates as a separate entity with its own executive team, board of directors and the stock has been sold separately as well.
“Both companies will remain important partners, providing Dell Technologies with a differentiated advantage in how we bring solutions to customers. At the same time, Dell Technologies will continue to modernize its core infrastructure and PC businesses and embrace new opportunities through an open ecosystem to grow in hybrid and private cloud, edge and telecom,” Dell CEO Michael Dell said in a statement.
While there is a lot of CEO speak in that statement, it appears to mean that the move is mostly administrative as the companies will continue to work closely together, even after the spin off is official. Dell will remain as chairman of both companies.
For its part, VMware said in a separate release that the deal will allow it “increased freedom to execute its strategy, a simplified capital structure and
governance model and additional strategic, operational and financial flexibility, while maintaining the strength of the two companies’ strategic partnership.”
The deal is expected to close at the end of this year, but it has to clear a number of regulatory hurdles first. That includes garnering a favorable ruling from the IRS that the deal qualifies for a tax-free spin-off, which is seems to be a considerable hurdle for a deal like this.
This is a breaking story. We will have more soon.
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