Michael Dell continuing as CEO, as Blackstone mulls options

Dell-CareersIts round and round of talks in Round Rock, Texas, the HQ of once famed, now ‘in transformation’ tech behemoth- Dell. Last month it looked like Michael Dell along with Silver Lake had sealed the buyout deal that would make Dell private as they entered into a definitive agreement to buy Dell in a deal that is valued approximately at $24.4bn.

But Dell has also announced a ‘Go Shop’ period till March 22, to allow its shareholders to look at the possibility of a better deal. During the last week, a growing band of shareholders had dubbed the deal as ‘underpriced’. For instance billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who in a surprising revelation last week said that said that he had acquired a significant stake in the company and he is against the buyout and instead he favors a dividend plan.

In a recent development reports say that Blackstone Group- the private equity major- is evincing a close interest in the buyout. Interestingly, Blackstone Group, as per a report in Fortune.com said, “Though it does not have a problem with Michael Dell, but is also looking aggressively at alternates to Michael Dell as well”.

For instance names like Mark Hurd, who is now president at Oracle and former CEO of HP and former Compaq and MCI head-Micheal Cappellas- are some of the names favored by Blackstone.

Interestedly all these developments come as the deal’s ‘Go Shop’ period ends midnight today According to reports during this go shop period, many potential and casual investors had looked in to Dell’s financial records, on the premise of finding a better alternate. Interestingly even Dell’s arch rivals like Lenovo and HP had browsed into Dell’s financials.

Also analysts feel that Dell would have compromised too much of financial data, and since rivals like HP and Lenovo has also taken a look at Dell’s confidential financials, they might have got critical fiscal health parameters of the company that might help shape their strategies against Dell in future.

Of all the ones which scrutinized Dell’s financial records, Blackstone is the one the industry is betting on. Given that, will Blackstone announce its bid or will Michael Dell and Silver Lake ‘up’ the current offer price? But the opinion is divided. As per recent reports Blackstone is in touch with some of the Dell’s biggest stakeholders- like Southeastern Asset Management- and also with GE Capital- possibly to fund its counterbid. Despite that, many analysts caution it’s too early to arrive at anything concrete.

Clearly it’s all at the speculative stage right now and the fate of Dell’s private foray hangs in balance. And the key question is in the event of Blackstone pulling an alternate bid- would Michael Dell continue as Dell’s CEO? (Source: Dataquest) Click here for Careers with DELL