Sunday 25 February 2018

And the winner is . . . Michael Dell

Activist shareholder Carl Icahn has abandoned his $25bn (€19bn) effort to stop Michael Dell retaking control of the computer maker he founded three decades ago.

The US billionaires have been at loggerheads since March over the future of the company, which is still a major employer in Limerick and Dublin even after it shut its manufacturing unit here in the last decade.

It is hard for anyone as old as the Punt to credit this but the glory days of computer makers like Dell Inc are well in the past.

The scrap between Michael Dell and Carl Icahn (right) is over how to react to that. Texas-born Dell has teamed up with private equity house Silver Lake Partners with the idea of taking the business off the stock exchange in order to take the time needed to overhaul the operation. It's a risky proposition, but exactly what needs to happen if Dell, which dominated the IT world until very recently, is to remain relevant.

In contrast, Carl Icahn is a classic "value investor".

He wanted to squeeze the maximum value out of the stock today, not wait around to see what the company looks like five years from now.

Michael Dell has won the prize and gets his company back, now let's see what he does with it.

Irish Independent

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