Dell founder takes 3rd largest PC-maker private in $25bn deal

Michael Dell hopes to diversify the company's products and services in the face of a declining market for PCs
  • @jjvincent

After a vote by stockholders this morning, computer giant Dell has been sold back to its founder Michael Dell for $25 billion following a hard-fought contest to take the company private.

"I am pleased with this outcome and am energized to continue building Dell into the industry's leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions," said Mr Dell.

Although Dell remains the third-largest global PC manufacturer (Lenovo and HP take the first and second spots respectively) the company has suffered in recent years as smartphones and tablet have eroded the traditional PC market.

Since 2008 the company has spent $13 billion in acquisitions in order to expand its technology footprint, branching out into corporate solutions, cloud computing and software.

"As a private enterprise, with a strong private-equity partner, we'll serve our customers with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help them achieve their goals,” said Mr Dell.

The agreed deal will see shares bought at $13.75 with an additional 13-cent special dividend for each share. The initial offer had been for $13.65 per share, but this had been rejected by “investor activist” Carl Ichan.

Ichan bought shares in the company in order to object to Mr Dell’s attempts to take it private, but bowed out earlier this week because he said the struggle was “impossible to win”.

Dell reported last month that its second-quarter earnings had declined by 72 per cent, whilst its revenue remained static and its operating expenses increased. This was the seventh consecutive quarter of declining profit for the company.

In a letter to the company's shareholders Michael Dell declared that the company was "going back to [its] roots":

"We stand on the cusp of the next technological revolution. The forces of cloud, big data, mobile and security are changing people’s relationship with technology, just as the PC did almost 30 years ago. Now it’s time to do what Dell does best—make these innovations simpler, more affordable and more accessible, putting more power into the hands of more people than ever before."