Dell shareholders have approved a $25 billion buyout proposal led by founder Michael Dell to take the company private. The decision ends months of opposition from shareholders Southeastern Asset Management and activist investor Carl Icahn, the latter of which just recently decided to pull out of the conflict and withdraw his rival takeover offer because he said it was "impossible to win.”
Michael Dell is partnering with private equity firm Silver Lake to finance the deal, along with a $2 billion loan from Microsoft. According to the announcement, 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.
“This is a great outcome for our customers and our company,” Michael Dell said on a conference call. “In taking Dell private we plan to go back to our roots, focusing on the entrepreneurial spirit that made Dell one of the fastest growing and most successful companies in history.”
He specifically mentioned a "multi-year" endeavor to expand into new areas such as enterprise, cloud computing and security services as one of the first moves in sight. Despite a slowdown in the PC market, Dell says end-user computing remains an important focus and they’ll continue to invest in consumer focused PCs and tablets.
The buyout is expected to close by November 1 and will see Michael Dell own 75% of the company. That will make it easier to move in new directions and pursue new investments as he attempts to turn things around, “without the scrutiny, quarterly targets and other limitations of operating as a public company.”