Dell has agreed to acquire data storage company EMC for more than $53bn (£34.5bn, €46.6bn). Dell could announce the deal as early as today (12 October).

EMC has agreed to an offer of $33 a share of which $27 is to be paid in cash for EMC shares and the remaining in new securities tied to the value of VMware, the virtualisation software company in which EMC holds a majority stake, according to the Financial Times. The offer is at a premium of 27% over the stock price of EMC before the potential acquisition news leaked recently. Dell is already in discussions with various banks for $40bn in financing to acquire EMC.

EMC, however, as part of the deal, will have 60 days to seek a better offer from other potential bidders. This "go-shop" provision is to avoid a public confrontation with Elliott Management, a $25bn hedge fund that has a significant stake in EMC.

Though the deal would fetch a profit of about 20% for Elliott, some executives at EMC fear Elliott could be unsatisfied with it. If the deal goes through, it would be the second largest buyout by Michael Dell, the founder of Dell, which he took private two years ago via a $24bn leveraged buyout with help from investment firm Silver Lake.

It was previously reported that Michael Dell was looking to revamp the firm and the acquisition could be a move in that direction. EMC's strength in data management and security would help the Texas-headquartered company to deliver converged systems, merging storage, networking and computing into one unit and to become a complete provider of enterprise computing services, such as Hewlett-Packard.

Chief Executive of EMC Joseph Tucci requested for the "go-shop" clause so as to find the best possible deal for its shareholders. While EMC is yet to receive an alternative offer, its advisers are likely to reach out to other potential suitors such as Microsoft and Cisco.