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Dell Bets on Friendly Markets for EMC Bid

Michael Dell was pressing ahead with partner Silver Lake on a $50 billion-plus acquisition of data-storage giant EMC Corp., people familiar with the matter said, a bold but risky deal that would require massive debt financing at a time when credit markets have become less hospitable to mergers.

Negotiations have advanced and could produce an agreement by next week, the people said. A merger of that size would be the largest ever in the technology industry, and Dell and Silver Lake are in talks to secure a debt package that could top $40 billion to fund it, one of the people said.

The recent rebound in markets has added urgency to the talks. Dell and its advisers have been grappling in recent days with how to finance the takeover at a time when markets are volatile and debt investors have balked at a number of recent takeover-related offerings, another person said. They are eager to get the deal done before credit tightens further, the person said, and the improved climate has given them an opening.

The deal would mark an attempt by Mr. Dell to craft a future for a company caught between the shift toward mobile devices such as Apple Inc.’s iPhone and fierce competition among providers of storage capacity and computing power. A merger in theory could transform the PC and server specialist Mr. Dell took private two years ago into a one-stop shop capable of serving a full range of corporate computing needs.

“Dell and EMC...