Blackstone mulls late bid for PC-maker Dell

BLACKSTONE Group is said to be considering making a late bid for Dell computers to top the proposed $24.4bn (£15bn) buyout from its founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management.

Blackstone may bid as part of a group of investors, according to Bloomberg. However the agency added that, according to another source, the New York private equity giant had not yet made a decision.

Under the agreement for the buyout, Dell’s board has until Friday to find a better deal and can not negotiate beyond that date.

Last night Blackstone did comment on the potential bid.

Blackstone’s interest is an about turn on its apparent decision not to pursue the company. Reports in January said Blackstone talked with Citigroup about helping finance a potential offer, but decided it would be too tough to come up with the $5bn equity needed to top Silver Lake’s offer.

Silver Lake Partners’s offer could value Dell at as much as $24bn. The banks involved in financing the deal are Barclays, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Royal Bank of Canada and Credit Suisse, with JP Morgan advising Silver Lake. TPG Capital, a Texas-based private equity firm, is also believed to be investing, while Michael Dell, who owns a 15 per cent stake in the company, is contributing equity.

In the last few days there has been further interest from activist investor Carl Icahn, who won the right to look over Dell’s books.

The billionaire claimed investors are being short-changed by the proposed Silver Lake buyout as it “substantially undervalues the company.”