Done Deal: Michael Dell Wins Buyout Vote


Michael Dell has prevailed in the hard fought $24.8 billion leveraged buyout battle to keep control of Dell, the company he founded 29 years ago from his dorm room at the University of Texas.

"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 press 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."

With the backing of private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and shareholders, Michael Dell will take his company private, remain CEO, and own 75 percent of the company. In additon, he will attempt to turn Dell into a solutions provider, with increased focus on security software, big data services, and enterprise "IT in a box" hardware and software solutions.

"I'm happy this chapter in Dell's history is over and there is no longer a cloud of uncertainty hanging over Dell," said Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LAN Infotech, a Dell partner based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "Partners can now move forward and don't have to answer questions from customers about 'that Dell situation,'" he said. "I only see good things coming from this."

 

[Related: 7 Mounting Challenges Facing Dell]

In the loser's corner is activist investor Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management, which fought equally hard for the past six months to take control of the struggling PC maker. Icahn, who owns a 9 percent stake in Dell, pushed Dell to raise his bid and offered his own deal. On Monday Icahn sent up a white flag and gave up on his fight to take control of Dell.

"Dell dodged a bullet (with Carl Icahn) and now has a chance to reinvigorate the company around a unified vision Michael has created over the last 12 months that centers around enterprise servers, security and business services," said principal analyst Tim Bajarin, at Creative Strategies.

The key to Michael Dell's win came the day Icahn was denied his day in a Delaware court by a judge that ruled against Icahn and said that a proposed shareholder vote change put forth by Michael Dell could not be struck down. After several failed attempts, Michael Dell and Silver Lake submitted a sale price at $13.75 per share, threw in a special dividend of 13 cents per share and in exchange convinced Dell's board to change the shareholder voting rules in their favor.

NEXT: Channel Partners Ask "What's Next?"