Dell Technologies goes public on New York Stock Exchange

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A Dell computer counter in a shopping mall in Nantong, Jiangsu province. [Photo / Xinhua]

U.S. tech tycoon Dell Technologies turned into a publicly traded company on Friday, with its stock starting to trade on the New York Stock Exchange after Dell announced completion of a transaction that marked a hard-won reverse merger.

The public trading of Dell's Class C common stock, which reflects the entire business and assets of Dell Technologies, opened with a price of 46 U.S. dollars a share on Friday.

It came on the heels of the finished reverse merger of software firm VMware Inc. by means of buying out the Class V common stock, a tracking stock that tracked Dell Technologies Inc.'s controlling stake of over 80 percent in VMware.

The tracking stock had no claim on the assets of Dell, and were issued to mirror market evaluation of Dell's performance.

A reverse merger, defined as the acquisition of a public company by a private company, could spare Dell, the world's largest privately held tech company, the lengthy and complex process of formal IPO listing and enabled it to go public directly.

The PC maker and data storage company announced the completion of Class V transaction, signaling Dell's takeover of VMware, on Friday in a press release, just about half an hour prior to the opening of the U.S. stock market.

"Dell Technologies was created to be the essential infrastructure company for this digital era, and with today's announcement, we are aligning the interests of our stakeholders to benefit from the integrated innovations and value creation from across our entire family of businesses," Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, said in the press release.

Dell wrestled with VMware shareholders over the reverse merger for nearly 10 months, as some had believed it would be a "terrible deal" with little gains.

"Even the most casual observer can see that (VMware) gains nothing by saddling the company's faster growth, net cash, highly strategic software business with the dead weight of Dell's slower growth, heavily debt-laden, legacy hardware-dependent entity," wrote Josh Resnick, managing member at Jericho Capital, in a letter to the VMware board, according to U.S.-based market data research company SDxCentral.

Yet Dell finally won the approval of more than 61 percent of holders of Class V common stock, who voted in favor of the transaction on Dec. 11, the company announced in a press release. Votes in favor of the transaction accounted for more than 89 percent of the Class V shares.

To buy out the Class V shares, Dell offered stockholders two elections, namely cash elections, which allowed them to trade their shares for cash, with a cap of 14 billion U.S. dollars, and share elections, which allowed them to exchange their original shares for common shares in Dell, according to the Friday statement. 

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