The government may now be in shutdown mode, but not before it gave the go-ahead to Dell to go private. The embattled PC company today announced that it has received all necessary regulatory clearance for Michael Dell, who founded and led the computer firm as CEO and chairman, and Silver Lake Partners to take the company private in a $24.9 billion transaction. This was the last big hurdle Dell needed to surmount, and now the transaction is expected to close before the end of Q3 2014, or November 1.
Until then, the company remains publicly-traded, a spokesperson noted today. He added that the clearances were at the SEC and FTC.
After the deal is finalized, Michael Dell will own about 75% of the company, with Silver Lake the remainder, and with some of that financed in part by Microsoft, which relies on Dell as a major OEM for its Windows products.
Prior to today, Dell had already secured the necessary votes from shareholders for the deal.
Like other PC makers, Dell has been feeling the pressure from the rise of newer, smaller and less expensive computing devices. Its own forays into that market have been less than successful, crowded out by other OEMs like Samsung and Apple.
In PCs, between 2001 and 2006, Dell was the world’s largest PC maker — a business first started by Michael Dell in his college dorm room in the 1984. But since then it has been in a gradual decline and is now in a number-three behind Lenovo and HP.
In an interview in September, Michael Dell talked about his ongoing strategy to position Dell as more than a simple device maker. “End to end solutions. We’re focused on and absolutely building Dell as an end to end solutions company. As it relates to PCs, we think PCs are an important part of the end to end solution,” he told Forbes. But there are many questions that come to mind from a statement like that. Does that make Dell more like HP? Or more like Samsung? Or Apple? And hasn’t Dell been following this strategy for years already?
Like BlackBerry, which is also going private, the big question is whether Dell will have what it takes to turn itself around: at the very least it will be able to try to do this without too-persistent scrutiny from the public markets.