Computer maker Dell to go private - WFLA News Channel 8

Computer maker Dell to go private

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Slumping personal computer maker Dell is bowing out of the stock market in a $24.4 billion buyout that represents the largest deal of its kind since the Great Recession dried up the financing for such risky maneuvers.         

The complex agreement announced Tuesday will allow Dell Inc.'s management, including founder Michael Dell, to attempt a company turnaround away from the glare and financial pressures of Wall Street.

Dell stockholders will be paid $13.65 per share to leave the company on its own. That's 25 percent more than the $10.88 the stock was going for before word of the buyout talks trickled out last month, but a steep markdown from the shares' price of $26 less than five years ago.       

Dell shares rose 12 cents to $13.39 per share in morning trading, indicating that investors don't believe a better offer is likely.

Once the sale to the group that includes investment firm Silver Lake is finalized, Dell's stock will stop trading on the Nasdaq nearly 25 years after the Round Rock, Texas, company raised $30 million in an initial public offering of stock. Microsoft Corp. is helping the deal along by lending $2 billion to the buyers.

The company will solicit competing offers for 45 days.         

The IPO and Dell's rapid growth through the 1990s turned its founder into one of the world's richest people. His fortune is currently estimated at about $16 billion. Michael Dell, who owns nearly 16 percent stake in the company, will remain the CEO after the sale closes and will contribute his existing stake in Dell to the new company.

Dell's sale is the highest-priced leveraged buyout of a technology company, surpassing the $17.6 billion paid for Freescale Semiconductor in 2006.

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