People familiar with the matter told WSJ that a deal could be reached within a week. Dell is primarily interested in EMC's market-leading data storage business, the journal received word that one of the focus points of a potential acquisition would be to spin off EMC's stake in VMware. EMC has a 80 percent stake in VMware, which has a market cap of just over $34 billion.
EMC has been under pressure to boost its stock price since last year, when activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. took a roughly 2% stake in the company and urged it to spin off VMware. EMC owns 80% of VMware, which has a market value of $34 billion. An arrangement struck in January between Elliott and Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC that had barred the fund from publicly pressuring EMC expired last month. Elliott has since stayed quiet.