Michael Dell Buys Back Company for $24.4 B

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By Vittorio Hernandez | February 6, 2013 10:51 AM EST

Financially challenged computer manufacturer Dell is selling the company to its former owner and other investors for $24.4 billion. Dell announced on Tuesday night that it has reached a complex agreement that would allow the company founder, Michael Dell, to buyback the company

The move would allow Mr Dell to turnaround the company weakened by the popularity of tablets, smartphones and other newer computing devices. However, the attempt would be made without the scrutiny and pressure from Wall Street.

In delisting Dell, stockholders will be paid $13.65 per share, which is 25 per cent higher than the $10.88 value of the stocks before buyout talks started. However, it is barely half of the $26 sharprice of Dell stocks five years ago.

In 2012, Dell logged a 3.5 per cent decline in PC sales, its first yearly decline in more than 10 years, reported research group Gartner. For 2013, the trend is not expected to reverse since table computers are expected to outsell laptops.

The change in tech consumer preference has affected not only Dell but also other PC manufacturers such as Hewlett-Packard, chip maker Intel and software producer Microsoft.

Microsoft will help the deal by lending $2 billion to the buyers, including investment firm Silver Lake. Dell raised $30 billion during its initial public offering almost 25 years ago. Once the sale is finalised, Dell shares will no longer be trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Because of the IPO and Dell's boom in the 1990s, Mr Dell became one of the richest persons in the world with an estimated wealth of $16 billion. He said turning around the company would be easier if Dell would revert to private ownership.

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