The Dell deal is now all but done, according to Bloomberg who today reported that there are enough yes votes to ice the Michael Dell-Silver Lake proposal that will see the firm taken private for $24.9 billion.
This news comes on the heels of the withdrawal of the rival Icahn bid that would have seen a tender offer for the majority of Dell shares at a higher per-share price. However, that deal would have left Dell a public company, albeit one with an odd liquidity structure.
Michael Dell and Silver Lake are using a few billion Microsoft dollars — tapped from Redmond’s overseas cash hoard — to finance the shebang. Bloomberg notes that “[h]olders of two-thirds of the voting shares have indicated their support for the proposed transaction.” So, that’s that.
It has been a long, often comical road. First, Dell was said to be dramatically undervalued by its founder and Silver Lake. Then, Dell reported catastrophic first quarter earnings, and bids for the firm dried up. Icahn forged ahead, only to be publicly upbraided by Dell’s Special Committee for not having his bread right. He sorted that, but lost in the end.
Icahn took parting shots, calling the firm’s leadership a dictatorship, among other things. Say what you want about him, but the dude has style. Or something close to it.
Dell now gets to go private, digest oodles of debt, and hopefully come out the other end a company reborn. That’s what Microsoft wants, at least: A functional OEM partner that can stand toe to toe with Apple’s hardware. Dell isn’t even close. But perhaps it will be.
Top Image Credit: Jerry Luo