Dell shareholders OK Michael Dell taking company private

Michael Dell has won his battle to take the company he founded and gave his name private.

It was announced Thursday that company shareholders have approved a plan by Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners to take the vendor private for $13.75 per share, valuing the transaction at appx. $24.9 billion.

“I am pleased with this outcome and am energized to continue building Dell into the industry’s leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions,” said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell, in a statement. “As a private enterprise, with a strong private-equity partner, we’ll serve our customers with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help them achieve their goals.”

The deal isn’t quite done yet though – regulatory approval is still required. The deal will likely close in the next few months. But its approval became far more likely when activist shareholder Carl Icahn recently dropped his vocal opposition to the deal – he had felt the deal undervalued the company, forcing Dell and Silver Lake to sweeten their offer.

In an open letter to shareholders on Thursday, Dell said he was excited about the company’s new direction.

“We are going back to our roots, to the entrepreneurial spirit that made Dell one of the fastest growing, most successful companies in history. We’re unleashing the creativity and confidence that have always been the hallmarks of our culture. We plan to serve you, our customers, with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help power your dreams,” said Dell.

With a strong of acquisitions in recent years, Dell has worked to transform itself from a PC vendor to a technology infrastructure vendor offering a full range of hardware, software and services solutions for the data centre. By taking the company private, analysts say Dell will have more breathing room to complete this transformation without the weight and scrutiny of constant shareholder expectations.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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