IT'S OFFICIAL: Dell just bought EMC in the biggest tech merger ever

EMC CEO Joe Tucci


EMC CEO Joe Tucci

Dell is buying EMC, a $50 billion publicly traded IT giant for around $67 billion in one of the tech industry's biggest mergers ever, according to Bloomberg, which said the terms of the deal looked like this:

Dell plans to pay $24.05 a share in cash plus tracking stock in EMC's prize holding, VMware Inc., valued at about $9 for each EMC share, the companies said in a statement Monday. The price of $33.15 a share is 28 percent above EMC's closing level on Oct. 7, just before reports surfaced that a deal was in the works.

News of the deal first leaked last week. It's not just the biggest tech merger ever, it's actually twice as big as the previous largest, which was the Compaq-HP deal, valued at $33.4 billion.

A complicated merger

The merger will be complex and costly to execute, given the sheer size and scope of both companies. But the payoff could mean that Dell gets a broader enterprise business, while EMC gets some breathing room after its recent troubles.

Dell, EMC, and VMware - which specializes in a technology called "virtualization" that helps companies make their data centers more efficient - have all been facing pressure from cloud services like Amazon Web Services, which lets customers outsource their data crunching and data storage needs to one of the e-retail giant's hugely efficient data centers.

Michael Dell

Tony Avelar/AP Images for Dell Inc.

Dell CEO Michael Dell

In addition, Dell has reportedly been hit hard by the sagging PC market, threatening its PC manufacturing business.

For its part, EMC has fallen on some hard times. Free software like Hadoop, which can be run on commodity servers, has seriously impacted EMC's storage and data processing businesses, since it removes the need for customers to buy often-pricey software and hardware products.

EMC reportedly began a strategic review to explore various options last year. And over the summer, EMC vowed to cut $850 million in expenses, prompting employees to start bracing themselves for mass layoffs.

Plus, long-time EMC CEO Joe Tucci was slated to retire in February 2015, but that didn't happen. He has made no secret of the fact that he's searching for his replacement. With the merger, that problem goes away.

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