The founder of Dell is buying back Dell. It announced today that, in a $24.4 billion deal, it will be acquired by founder and CEO Michael Dell in partnership with tech investment company Silver Lake and go private.
In a press release, Dell said that Michael Dell first approached the company with the proposition in August of 2012, and a Special Committee was formed to advise and aid Dell with the process. Current stockholders will receive $13.65 per share in cash, about 25 percent over Dell’s closing share price, which was $10.88 on January 11 (the last trading day before rumors of the acquisition broke).
Of the deal, Michael Dell said in the release, “I believe this transaction will open an exciting new chapter for Dell, our customers and team members … I am committed to this journey and and I have put a substantial amount of my own capital at risk together with Silver Lake … We are committed to delivering an unmatched customer experience and excited to pursue the path ahead.”
After the acquisition, Dell will continue on as chairman and CEO as well as invest a significant amount of additional cash.
It’s no secret that Dell has been struggling in the past few years due to the rapid rise of competition in the marketplace and the emergence of smart phones and tablets. No longer the world’s biggest computer maker, Dell is remaining optimistic about the deal being a game-changing one. Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden told Reuters that it will give the company freedom to pursue “organic and inorganic investment [without] the scrutiny and limitations associated with operating as a public company.”
But some are not sure of Dell’s future. Hewlett-Packard released a statement upon news of the acquisition expressing its doubts and hinting that it will be reining in Dell’s old customers:
“Dell has a very tough road ahead. The company faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers … Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers and innovation at the curb … We believe Dell’s customers will now be eager to explore alternatives, and HP plans to take full advantage of that opportunity.”