So, you've probably heard about Dell going private in a buyback deal worth $24 billion. Well, Dell's chief nemesis in the PC market, HP, has put out a statement about the move—and it's surprisingly harsh:
Dell has a very tough road ahead. The company faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers. And with a significant debt load, Dell's ability to invest in new products and services will be extremely limited. Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers and innovation at the curb. We believe Dell's customers will now be eager to explore alternatives, and HP plans to take full advantage of that opportunity.
Well, it's not like HP wasn't taking "full advantage" of Dell's slipping market share before. The latest Gartner data shows HP enjoyed 12.6% year-on-year shipment growth in the U.S. last quarter, while Dell saw its own shipments plummet by 16.5%. Similarly, HP's slice of the U.S. market grew from 23.1% to 26.6% between Q4 2011 and Q4 2012, while Dell's share declined from 22.5% to 19.2%. HP also had a lead over Dell in international shipments, except both companies suffered shrinkage there. (Lenovo and Asus were the only vendors in the top five that didn't.)
The stock buyback might not be as disastrous for consumers as HP suggests, anyway. Dell stated earlier this morning, "We are committed to completing this transaction as seamlessly as possible such that our customers are not impacted in any way." The firm also added, "We believe this transaction strengthens Dell's capabilities to bring industry-leading, differentiated, simplified and easy-to-manage solutions to customers worldwide."