Dell to go private in $24.4 billion deal
After weeks of rumors and speculation, Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners are acquiring the company.
Under the terms of the deal, Dell shareholders will receive $13.65 a share in cash, a premium of 25% to the company's closing price Jan. 11, when rumors of the deal emerged. Dell shares are up more 1% in afternoon trading Tuesday.
The transaction will be financed through a combination of cash and equity from Michael Dell, cash from investment funds affiliated with Silver Lake, cash invested by Michael Dell's investment firm, MSD Capital, and a $2 billion loan from Microsoft (MSFT). The deal will also be financed by a rollover of existing debt, and debt financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets.
"I believe this transaction will open an exciting new chapter for Dell, our customers and team members," Michael Dell wrote in a statement. "We can deliver immediate value to stockholders, while we continue the execution of our long-term strategy and focus on delivering best-in-class solutions to our customers as a private enterprise."
The deal is expected to close before the end of Dell's fiscal 2014 second quarter.
Dell, who owns 14% of Dell's common shares, will continue to lead the company as CEO once the transaction is completed. He will maintain a "significant equity investment" by contributing his shares of Dell to the new company, as well as making a "substantial additional cash investment," according to the statement.
Shares of the No. 3 PC maker, once the world's largest, were halted early on Tuesday, but resumed trading around 10 a.m., and are up 1.1% at $13.41. Microsoft shares crept up 0.4% to $27.54.
Analysts have already said a buyout will help Dell reinvent itself (see TheStreet), boosting its push into lucrative areas such as enterprise services.
Dell has suffered as a result of the weakening PC market, and has also come under pressure from tablet devices such as Apple's (AAPL) phenomenally successful iPad.
Last month, tech-research firm Gartner published its report on worldwide PC shipments, which declined during the fourth quarter as consumers opted for tablets. Dell trailed HP (HPQ) and Lenovo, and its market share slipped to 10.2% from 12.2% in the prior year's quarter.
(Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)
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The solid report comes a month after the retailer closed all of its Canadian operations.
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