Dell Buyout Opposition Grows; Some Shareholders Balking

Done deal? Hardly. Dell’s (NASDAQ: DELL) $24.4 billion deal to go private apparently faces pushback from at least four major shareholders, Reuters reported. And don’t forget: A special Dell committee is managing a 45-day “go-shop” period, during which the committee is actively soliciting alternative bids. So who will wind up owning Dell, and how will the current variables impact partners and the PC maker?

First, the latest news chatter. Top shareholders including Southeastern Asset Management, Harris Associates LP, Yacktman Asset Management and Pzena Investment Management plan to vote against a buyout, Reuters reported. Still, those companies represent only 14 percent of Dell’s shares. Michael Dell himself owns 16 percent, Reuters added.

The other key point: Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake are trying to buy the PC giant at $13.65 per share. Southeastern Asset Management is pushing for nearly $24 a share. That’s quite a gap.

Among the big questions worth asking?

  • Will more large shareholders voice opposition to the deal? Best Guess: Potentially yes, but The VAR Guy thinks the majority of shareholders will take the money and run.
  • Will the “go shop” period attract other potential bidders for Dell? Best Guess: Most likely no. Perhaps more private equity firms could jump in. But The VAR Guy doubts any massive technology companies or PC makers would attempt to swallow Dell whole.
  • Should channel partners worry about the Dell ownership debate? Best Guess: Nope. Dell Channel Chief Greg Davis has already assured partners that the company will remain focused on the channel.

 

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