Dell confirms it has gone private in a $24bn buyout

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It’s official: Dell has gone private, according to New York Times DealBook. After weeks of rumours and speculation, the computer marker has announced that it will go private in a US$24.4-billion deal led by founder and CEO Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake.

Microsoft confirmed its participation in the deal, saying that it “provided a US$2-billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private”.

“Microsoft is committed to the long-term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future. We’re in an industry that is constantly evolving. As always, we will continue to look for opportunities to support partners who are committed to innovating and driving business for their devices and services built on the Microsoft platform.”

The deal will see all participating companies/individual pay US$13.65 a share, resulting in a 25% increase over the closing price of US$10.88, which the company was trading on 11 January before the first rumours of a buyout surfaced.

Inking this deal will see Dell, the man, take back majority control of the company he started 30 years ago.

According to people familiar with the matter, the PC maker has been struggling to survive in the post-PC era with the increasing domination of mobile devices.

“I believe this transaction will open an exciting new chapter for Dell, our customers and team members,” Dell said in a statement. “Dell has made solid progress executing this strategy over the past four years, but we recognize that it will still take more time, investment and patience, and I believe our efforts will be better supported by partnering with Silver Lake in our shared vision.”

It makes sense for Silver Lake to come onboard with this buyout as it has notorious for tech space deals like the 2000 leveraged buyout of hard-drive maker Seagate Technologies.

“Michael Dell is a true visionary and one of the pre-eminent leaders of the global technology industry,” Egon Durban, a managing partner at Silver Lake, said in a statement. “Silver Lake is looking forward to partnering with him, the talented management team at Dell and the investor group to innovate, invest in long-term growth initiatives and accelerate the company’s transformation strategy to become an integrated and diversified global I.T. solutions provider.”

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