T. Rowe Price Says It Would Be Against a Dell-VMware Merger
@T. Rowe Price Group, the largest independent shareholder of VMware, opposes a potential merger of the private @Dell Technologies with @VMware. Such a transaction would be “detrimental to VMware,” @Taymour Tamaddon, portfolio manager of the T. Rowe Institutional Large-Cap Growth fund (ticker: (TRLGX), tells Barron’s. T Rowe Price held 12.4 million shares of VMware (ticker VMW) on Dec. 31, 2017, or about 17% of the public float in the company, and 3% of the total shares outstanding. Dell holds an 82% interest in VMware, which has 403 million shares outstanding. T. Rowe Price has reduced its holding in VMware since its latest filling at year-end 2017 “because of the risk of the transaction,” Tamaddon says. He declined to disclose the current position, but said the firm remained the largest independent VMware investor. Dell, which is controlled by CEO Michael Dell, announced on Feb. 2 that is was considering several options, including an initial public offering, a combination with VMware, or no action. CNBC later reported that Dell might be leaning toward a “reverse merger” with VMware. In such a combination, VMware would issue shares to the privately held Dell and effectively allow Dell to go public. A decision by Dell is expected in the coming weeks.