Dell computers will delist from the Nasdaq stock exchange at the end of trading today (29 October) as Michael Dell's $24.9bn (£15.5bn) buyout of the company he founded 29 years ago is completed.
Dell is to delist from the Nasdaq stock exchange at the end of trading on 29 October. (Reuters)
Along with private equity company Silver Lake, Dell is taking the company private to help manage its planned turnaround, shielding it from the spotlight of the stock market and pressure from investors.
Dell said: "Dell enters an exciting new chapter as a private company. Our 110,000 team members worldwide are 100% focused on our customers and aggressively executing our long-term strategy for their benefit."
The company was caught wrong-footed by the rise of the smartphone and tablet which it and other conventional computer manufacturers have struggled to compete against. Dell believes he can transform the company into a provider of computer services to corporations, moving it away from the consumer sector.
Having seen its share price hit more than $50 in its heyday of the early 2000s, Dell failed to move fast enough when Apple, and later Google and Samsung, flooded the industry with hugely desirable smartphones and tablets, while traditional desktop computer sales steadily fell with no sign of recovery.
In August, the company reported a 72% slide in quarterly earnings, reflecting price cuts intended to appease customers nervous about the company's future and spearhead a change of direction from the consumer to enterprise market, where it will compete with IBM and HP.
Michael Dell's buyout, agreed by the board of directors in August and by shareholders a month later, will see him pay $13.75 per share, plus a 13 cent special dividend.
Dell first announced his plans to buy the company in February, but the process was delayed by opposition from shareholders, including a rival bid made by activist investor Carl Icahn, who instead proposed a share buyback which would give him a controlling 58% share and keep the company public.
Voting on the buyout was postponed three times over the summer as the company's CEO and board of directors worked to convince voters to side with them and not Icahn.
Michael Dell wanted to take the company private because he believed that significant restructuring to improve the company's outlook would be best performed away from the scrutiny of the stock market.
After the board agreed to the buyout, he said: "I am pleased with this outcome and am energised to continue building Dell into the industry's leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions. 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."
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