Saturday 16 December 2017

Michael Dell ups offer in bid to seal deal

DELL BOY: Michael Dell is close to selling the Limerick plant
DELL BOY: Michael Dell is close to selling the Limerick plant

Callie Bost and  Aaron Ricadela

MICHAEL Dell and Silver Lake Management sweetened their proposal to buy Dell, boosting their offer to $13.75 (€10.40) a share in an effort to clinch shareholder support.

The group delayed a vote on the leveraged buyout to August 2 at the PC maker's headquarters in Round Rock, Texas, according to a statement yesterday. The parties called the offer, an increase from their previous $13.65-a-share bid, their "best and final proposal".

Dell is one of the biggest overseas employers in Ireland, with about 1,800 staff in Dublin and Limerick.

If approved by shareholders, the new bid would end a six- month fight between chief executive officer Mr Dell and billionaire Carl Icahn, who has tried to derail the deal by proposing the company repurchase most of the outstanding shares at $14 apiece and offer some warrants. By taking the company he founded in 1984 private, Mr Dell is seeking to transform it into a bigger provider of hardware, software and services for corporate data centres, after years of ebbing sales and profit.

Mr Dell's initial offer, which had the support of the company's board, won backing from Institutional Shareholder Services earlier this month. A majority of investors, excluding Mr Dell's 15.6pc stake in the computer maker, will have to approve for the deal to pass.

The battle for Dell has become one of the most notable takeover battles in recent years. Mr Dell made his original offer in January, and it the deal looked set to be quickly completed until other investors, including Mr Icahn, produced rival bids.

Dell is struggling as PC purchases shrink and it tries to transform itself into a software and services business.

Analysts believe the company will be better able to transform itself as a private company away from the glare of Wall Street where it has to present quarterly results and constantly meet market expectations. (Bloomberg)

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