September 24, 2014 / 2:25 PM / 5 years ago

Cisco CEO Chambers rules out EMC takeover deal

John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco, speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cisco (CSCO.O) Chief Executive Officer John Chambers on Wednesday said the networking company was not among the potential suitors for data storage products maker EMC Corp EMC.N, which the Wall Street Journal has said is exploring options that include a sale.

Chambers, speaking at a Wall Street Journal breakfast, said he usually avoided commenting on potential deals but would make an exception in this case.

Cisco typically gets “the opportunity for almost every move in the industry” in terms of potential deals, he added.

“If Joe and I were going to do something here we would have done it a year or two ago,” he said, referring to EMC CEO Joe Tucci, who is expected to retire in February.

EMC has held merger talks with Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) that have since ended and are unlikely to resume, according to people familiar with the matter.

No talks are under way between EMC and any other big technology companies with the firepower to make a sizeable acquisition, including Oracle Corp (ORCL.N), Dell Inc [DI.UL] and Cisco, the people said.

People with knowledge of the approaches say Elliott Management, an activist investor in EMC, has spoken to various technology companies, including Dell, Cisco and Oracle, to discuss various options, including a sale. The people said those companies were not interested in those options at this time.

EMC, which has a market capitalization of nearly $61 billion, has rebuffed pressure from Elliott to spin off software maker VMware Inc, a person familiar with the situation told Reuters earlier this month. [ID:nL3N0RC41Z]

Shares of EMC were down 0.6 percent at $29.66 in late-morning trading, while Cisco rose 0.7 percent to $24.88.

Reporting by Christian Plumb and Liana Baker; Additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Nadia Damouni; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Lisa Von Ahn

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