July 21 (Reuters) - Activist investor Elliott Management Corp has taken a $1 billion stake in data storage equipment maker EMC Corp and plans to push the company to spin off its VMware Inc unit, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Elliott will seek to convince EMC that the company's lagging stock would receive a substantial boost if it were to spin off VMware Inc, in which EMC owns a majority stake, the daily said. (http://on.wsj.com/1sCyN6t)
Representatives of Elliot Management and EMC were not immediately available for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.
EMC posted a better-than-expected revenue in the last reported quarter but VMware reported weak growth in bookings.
Elliott, which will become the fifth largest shareholder in EMC after picking up the stake, is expected to argue that the company's present structure has hampered the performance of EMC's stock, the Journal said.
Should EMC move to split off VMware, potential buyers of part or all of the company could emerge, the report said.
Elliott called EMC to inform the company of the investment, and fund officials plan to meet with EMC Chairman and Chief Executive Joe Tucci, the report said.
(Reporting by Arnab Sen in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)