Photo of Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell, Inc. during a press conference in Beijing, China, in 2009, during better days for the company.
Struggling PC giant Dell on Tuesday announced it had finalized a $24.4 billion deal to take the company private, buying stock back from public investors at $13.65 per share in cash, which Dell noted in a press release was 37 percent more than the average closing price over the past 90 days.
The Texas-based company will be acquired by its founder and CEO Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners, buyoed by a $2 billion loan from Microsoft, whose Windows operating systems power most Dell computers. The move marks Dell’s stunning reversal of fortune from its days as the leading PC maker in the world in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Dell has since fallen to third place in the global PC market, with its own market share falling from 12.3 percent to 10.7 percent last year, as Bloomberg reported, as the PC industry as a whole has contracted, with consumers increasingly turning to mobile devices made by the likes of Apple and other Asian companies Samsung, HTC, Lenovo and Asustek.
The deal is also a bitter irony for founder Michael Dell, who in 1997 said that a then struggling Apple should “shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,” as CNET reported. Apple has since become the most profitable tech company in the world.
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