Dell Buyout Offers From Blackstone & Icahn Give Investors More Choice

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Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) confirmed that it received two additional offers in its “go-shop” period including one from private equity firm The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) for $14.25 per share and one from investor Carl Icahn for $15 per share.

Analysts from Sterne Agee view both proposals favorably as they offer shareholders a modest premium to the $13.65 per share by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. Analysts believe the board will need to seriously consider these offers. As the premiums are fairly modest and while subsequent bids are possible, analysts believe the likelihood of a materially higher offer is unlikely given the high proposed debt levels.

Dell Buyout Offers From Blackstone & Icahn Give Investors More Choice

What analysts find could be interesting and appealing for some investors regarding each proposal is that Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) remains a public company with a portion of shares publicly traded with The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) proposing a leveraged recapitalization and Icahn’s offer subject to a limited cash amount. On the positive, this leaves Dell Inc. public currency which could be used to make larger, more transformative acquisitions. However, on the negative, the company needs to deal with the quarter-to-quarter grind of being a publicly traded company.

Despite efforts to transform itself with $13 billion in acquisitions since 2008, analysts estimate that about 70% of its business is tied to PCs that is under secular and structural pressure from mobile devices. While this is progress from 85%-90% in the early 2000s, it proves a much more difficult and slower transition than consensus thinking. In terms of segment detail, analysts estimate 45%-50% of revenue is from desktop and notebooks PCs and 20% from non-PC businesses highly tied to PCs.

While going private makes sense in taking the company out of the limelight and public scrutiny, analysts from Sterne Agee are not sure it improves the company’s fundamental position. The reality is that ever-increasing competition from Lenovo, Asustek, Apple, Google, Acer, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, and Cisco isn’t going away.

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) shares are up 2.62 percent to $14.51 in after-hours trading.

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