Computer giant Dell is to be bought back by its founder in a $24.4bn deal that sees it leave the stock market after 25 years.
Michael Dell, the founder, chairman and chief executive of the world’s third largest PC maker, is part of a consortium of private finance which plans to take over the company in a buyout that involves a €2bn loan from tech giant Microsoft.
The deal, which includes global technology investment firm Silver Lake taking a stake, was announced today and approved unanimously by Dell’s independent directors. It would see shareholders receive $13.65 per share.
Mr Dell, 47, will continue to lead the company and invest his shares in the firm as well as making a “substantial additional cash investment” into the firm after the sale, the company said.
Announcing the decision today, Mr Dell said the deal would allow the firm to focus more on bringing the best possible products to its customers.
“Dell has made solid progress executing this strategy over the past four years, but we recognise 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,” he said.
“I am committed to this journey and I have put a substantial amount of my own capital at risk together with Silver Lake, a world-class investor with an outstanding reputation.
“We are committed to delivering an unmatched customer experience and excited to pursue the path ahead.”
Mr Dell, who owns 14% of shares in the company, said other money for the huge deal will come from bank loans.
He started the firm, then called PCs Limited, with $1,000 dollars as a 19-year-old medical undergraduate at the University of Texas, Austin, in 1984.
It launched its first foreign subsidiary in the UK in 1987.
The company said Mr Dell approached the board, based in Round Rock, Texas, in August to discuss a possible buyout.
The deal will go ahead pending a 45-day “go-shop” period, to allow rival bidders to come forward.
IT expert Carter Lusher at research firm Ovum said the Dell buyout makes "strategic sense'', but warned over uncertainty for the group.
He said: “The implication of going private is that Dell is planning radical changes to its strategy and product roadmap.
“While the company might come out of this transition stronger with a product line-up that better meets the needs of businesses and public sector organisations, there will be uncertainty as to what products and services stay, get strengthened or get eliminated.”