- Dell is exploring a reverse merger with VMware, which could become the largest tech deal ever, according to CNBC.
- Dell owns 80% of VMware, but would sell itself to VMware under such a deal.
- The deal would allow Dell to become a publicly traded company, four years after it went private.
Shares of VMware were down 9% on the report, which cited anonymous sources and noted that Dell is also considering other strategic options.
Dell owns 80% of VMware, a publicly traded software virtualization company that Dell acquired when it purchased EMC for $67 billion in 2015.
CNBC did not cite a specific price that VMware might pay for Dell in a reverse merger, but noted that the value should theoretically be above the $67 billion EMC transaction, which currently stands as the largest tech deal ever.
Reuters reported last week that Dell was exploring several options that could see it go public or strike an acquisition.
Full circle for Dell
A deal with VMware would mark a full circle for Dell, which teamed up with private equity firm Silver Lake in 2013 to exit the public market and go private amid a sharp decline in its traditional PC business and a punishing experience on Wall Street. Since then, Dell has transformed its business, reducing its focus on selling personal computers, and turned itself into a provider of backend software and services for datacenters and corporations.
Michael Dell, who founded Dell as a college student by selling PCs out of his car, has said that the decision to go private has been "fantastic," and allowed the company to avoid the "90 day shot clock" of constantly worrying about pleasing Wall Street with earnings results.
Still, after four years of revamping the business, Silver Lake may be looking to monetize the investment it made in Dell in order to take it private. Dell and Silver Lake would receive shares of VMware under the deal being explored, which they could then sell on the public market, CNBC reported.
A Dell representative declined to comment to Business Insider's query on the report. VMware did not immediately return a request for comment.
This post originally appeared on Business Insider.