US computer giant Dell gets closer to $24bn buyout deal

City A.M. Reporter
DELL was last night moving closer to a near $24bn (£15.2bn) buyout deal, with price negotiations narrowing to $13.50 to $13.75 a share in what would be the biggest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis.

Talks between Dell, the world’s third biggest computer maker, and a consortium led by its founder and chief executive, Michael Dell, to take the company private were in the final stages yesterday, a person familiar with the matter said.

An outcome is expected soon, the person said, cautioning that no final agreement had been reached and negotiations could still break down.

Dell shares fell almost three per cent yesterday.

Microsoft, which provides its Windows software for Dell computers and is also part of the investment consortium, is expected to invest around $2bn in the deal, while private equity firm Silver Lake is expected to put in about $1bn, the source said.

Michael Dell is expected to roll over his roughly 16 per cent stake and put in some of his own money so he has control of the company, the source added.

Dell and Silver Lake declined to comment and Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

The $13.75 per share is a premium of about 23 per cent to the average of $11 per share Dell traded before news of the deal talks broke, but is far below the $17.61 that the shares were trading a year ago.