News Column

Dell in Driver's Seat to Buy Back Company

April 19, 2013

Michael Dell's hopes of buying back Dell -- the computer company he created -- for $24.4 billion (pounds sterling 15.88 billion) today received a major boost as private-equity group Blackstone pulled its rival bid.

Blackstone's U-turn -- a month after it first made a move -- follows a growing slump in demand for personal computers. Dell itself has warned of lower earnings.

Michael Dell, who founded his company in 1984 and remains chairman, now looks to be in pole position to take full control of the world's third-largest personal computer company, in partnership with private-equity firm Silver Lake. Carl Icahn, a legendary activist investor, is opposed to Michael Dell's plan to take the company private and has built up a significant stake.

The Dell-Silver Lake offer is worth $13.65 a share -- in contrast to Icahn's $15-a-share proposal to buy 58 percent of the company and keep it on the stock market.

However, Icahn's plan would involve a considerable level of debt. Analysts have suggested it has less chance of success.

According to research firm Gartner, worldwide PC shipments fell by 11.2 percent during the first quarter of 2013 to 79.2 million -- their lowest level since early 2009 -- as tablets and smartphones soar in popularity.


(c)2013 London Evening Standard

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: Copyright Evening Standard (London, England) 2013

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