Business & Tech

With shareholders’ vote, EMC-Dell deal is all but final

A passer-by walks near an entrance to an EMC building, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Hopkinton, Mass. Dell is buying data storage company EMC in a deal valued at approximately $67 billion. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Steven Senne/AP/file 2015

EMC Corp. shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the sale of the company to Dell Inc., a deal worth more than $60 billion that creates a behemoth supplier of equipment for corporate data centers.

The buyout was endorsed by 98 percent of shareholders who voted during a brief meeting Tuesday at the EMC’s Hopkinton headquarters. About 74 percent of the stockholders voted, EMC said.

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Longtime chief executive Joe Tucci, who will retire after the sale is complete, said the result “clearly supports our view that the combination of Dell and EMC will create a powerhouse in the technology industry.”

“It has been a tremendous honor for me, personally, to lead this great company,” Tucci said.

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Shareholders also approved a multimillion-dollar “golden parachute” payment package for Tucci and EMC’s other top executives. Tucci could reap nearly $24 million in cash and stock, according to company regulatory filings.

The Dell buyout ends decades of independent ownership for EMC, which grew from its founding in 1979 to become the most valuable technology company in Massachusetts.

Last year, the company recorded sales of $24.7 billion and profits of $2 billion.

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It employs about 53,000 worldwide, with more than 9,000 in Massachusetts.

Dell was a publicly traded company before Michael Dell partnered with private equity investors to buy it in 2013 for nearly $25 billion. Dell, headquartered near Austin, Texas, has more than 100,000 employees around the world.

Some Massachusetts officials have worried that selling EMC could lead to significant job losses. Those jitters were particularly felt around EMC’s suburban headquarters, where generations of residents have ties to EMC, said Brian Herr, chairman of Hopkinton’s Board of Selectmen.

“We hope it’ll be for the better,” Herr said. “We view it as an opportunity to be one of the home bases, if you will, for a big company with a great future ahead of it. And we’re going to certainly support them, any way we can.”

Dell and EMC have said they plan to expand the combined company’s big-business computing division, which will be based in Hopkinton and headed by a current EMC executive, David Goulden. Howard Elias, another EMC executive, will remain in the state to head up the company’s global services and IT division.

“It’s not about the end of something, it’s about the birth of something new,” EMC vice chairman William J. Teuber Jr. said. “Putting together two companies of size to create even more heft, we think, is a very savvy move.”

Michael Dell, Teuber said, is “committed to Massachusetts, committed to continuing his visibility here and his investment in Massachusetts. And he’s exhibited that by headquartering two of the major businesses that will be part of Dell Technologies here.”

Dell and EMC are still seeking approval from regulators in China, but that is proceeding on schedule, Teuber said.

The new company is expected to be called Dell Technologies.

Industry analysts say a combined Dell and EMC could be formidable in the market for big corporate computing, in large part because each company specializes in something the other lacks.

EMC is the top seller of corporate data-storage devices, which hold vast amounts of digital information, while Dell is the country’s biggest seller of servers that process that data, said Patrick Moorhead, president of the research firm Moor Insights & Strategy.

The challenge for a newly combined Dell and EMC will be maintaining those established businesses — the companies say their annual sales could reach $74 billion — while nurturing growth in cloud computing, which uses sophisticated software to make data processing more efficient.

“That’s the big bet here,” Moorhead said. “That these two companies can essentially own big data and the private cloud.”

Curt Woodward can be reached at curt.woodward@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @curtwoodward.
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