Dell is considering strategic options, including an initial public offering and buying the remainder of cloud infrastructure company VMware Inc., people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal.
If the PC maker goes public, it would be one of the largest IPOs in recent history. What's more, it would give Dell the money to pay down some of its estimated $51 billion of debt, according to S&P Capital IQ. That debt came from acquiring businesses like EMC, the data-storage company Dell bought for $67 billion in 2016. Despite its debt, Dell is reportedly looking to buy the rest of VMware Inc., which has a market value of more than $50 billion.
Going public would also signify a major shift for Dell, which went private in 2013 in a $24 billion buyout by the company's founder Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake. At the Inc. 5000 conference in 2014, Dell said he was thrilled to be running a private company again, noting that 20 percent of his time was freed up from the administrative tasks that come with operating a public company. He also said Dell had no plans to go public.