It's finally, really happening this time: Dell is going private. Late yesterday, the company announced that, based on a preliminary vote tally, its stockholders have approved a $24.9-billion deal that will see founder Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners take joint ownership of the company.
Here are the details, for those interested:
In connection with the transaction, Dell stockholders will receive $13.75 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, plus payment of a special cash dividend of $0.13 per share to stockholders of record as of a date prior to the effective time of the merger, for total consideration of $13.88 per share in cash. The agreement also guarantees the regular quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share for the fiscal third quarter would be paid to holders of record as of a date prior to closing.
Dell expects the transaction to close by the end of the third quarter of its 2014 fiscal year—by early November, in other words. (The company's Q2FY14 ended on August 2, 2013.)
The original plan was for Dell to go private by the end of the second fiscal quarter. However, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the deal was repeatedly postponed because of pressure from "major Dell stockholders," including billionaire investor Carl Icahn. The WSJ says Icahn finally relented after Dell agreed to pay stockholders more per share. The original offer, announced in February, was $13.65 per share, so it looks like the price was kicked up a dime or so.
In an open letter to customers, Michael Dell says his company will now go "back to its roots" and revive the "entrepreneurial spirit that made Dell one of the fastest growing, most successful companies in history." He adds, "As a private company, we can move even faster toward our goal of becoming the industry’s leading provider of scalable, end-to-end solutions that deliver extraordinary value for you and your organizations."
Well, if there's one thing that excites me as a consumer, it's scalable end-to-end solutions. That, and intentionally vague corporate jargon. Mmm-mm-mm.