Thursday 26 April 2018

Rival bidders emerge to challenge Dell founder over $24bn buyout

Carl Icahn
Carl Icahn

Greg Roumeliotis and Jessica Toonkel

Dell appears to have received competing offers following a $24.4bn (€18.7bn) agreement last month to be taken private by its founder and private equity firm Silver Lake, setting up a tug-of-war for the world's third largest PC maker.

Venture capital giant Blackstone submitted an indicative and preliminary offer ahead of the expiration of a "go-shop" period on Saturday that allowed Dell to explore other options. The buyout firm has not yet arranged bank financing, though it has put potential lenders on stand-by.

Dell controls around 10pc of the personal computer market and has been a significant employer in the Limerick area for decades.

US billionaire Carl Icahn, who has built up a minority stake in Dell and opposes the offer by founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake, also made an offer, according to the 'Wall Street Journal'.

Details of the competing offers were not immediately known, but any rival bid would have to prove more appealing than the $13.65-per-share offer of Dell's founder and his private equity partner.

Profit

Blackstone is offering between $13.65 and $15 a share – trumping Michael Dell and Silver Lake's $13.65 – in a deal that will invite shareholder participation, the 'Wall Street Journal' reported.

Blackstone has approached a number of firms, including GE Capital, about financing for the deal, the second source familiar with the situation said.

Dell shares closed Friday at $14.14.

The firm could finance the deal by selling a piece of Dell's business, the source said.

The source added that more details will be illuminated in a proxy filing this week.

Blackstone declined to comment while Mr Icahn's representative did not return calls or an email requesting comment. Dell also declined to comment on the profit revision or the offers.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business