The “what will Dell to/with/for/about VMware” rumour mill has started spinning again. The force giving the mill the biggest push is a hint that activist investor Carl Icahn has acquired a chunk of VMware. Icahn’s shares are said to be enough to give him influence, but not to have triggered thresholds that would require regulatory filings to identify him as a shareholder.
If the rumours of Icahn’s involvement are correct, it could signal a rematch of the stoush he fought with Michael Dell in 2013. That was the year Dell, the company, went private. Icahn tried to stop that deal on grounds that it was not the best outcome for Dell shareholders. Financial services firm Raymond James is believed to have told its customers that Icahn’s interest is not entirely a bad thing, as VMware is worth more as a standalone company than as part of Dell.
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