Breakingviews

Dell’s $24 bln LBO involves a club of one

February 5, 2013

And Silver Lake, the sole private equity firm included, isn’t even really the club. Michael Dell is contributing his 14 pct stake in the PC maker, cash and an investment from his MSD Capital. Time was mega-deals needed a team of buyers. For now, they remain more exclusive.

Dell LBO objectors in tight corner

February 11, 2013

Shareholders like Southeastern think Dell is cheap at $24.4 bln. They’re right: that’s why the founder and Silver Lake want to buy it. But the shares haven’t topped the offer in months or Southeastern’s valuation in years. Other options provide too little certainty to match up.

Heinz deal gives taste of new buyout secret sauce

February 14, 2013

Private equity firm 3G is swallowing the ketchup maker for $28 bln with Warren Buffett’s help. In the past, such mega-buyouts required multiple LBO firms to work. With club deals all but dead, the Heinz takeover, like Dell’s, shows the new way forward.

Blackstone, Icahn likely to stub toe on Dell

March 25, 2013

Both are offering more for the computer maker than its eponymous founder. But the new bids rely on existing investors keeping a small public stake. In theory that obviates the need to get Michael Dell’s support. In practice, the downsides of such stub equity make it a long shot.

Potemkin Dell fight would have optical merits

March 27, 2013

Even if Blackstone doesn’t buy the PC maker, bidding against Silver Lake at least looks like rivalry in LBO-land, undermining allegations of collusion. Dell’s board also comes off as rejecting the bad J Crew precedent. A phony battle just won’t help shareholders much.

When should investors sell their Apple stock?

September 7, 2010

The group's push overseas and into the business market still holds promise, as does the steady stream of fresh gadgets such as Apple TV, unveiled by chief executive Steve Jobs last week. Apple's trajectory should continue for some time ...

Are Dell’s shareholders on Xanax?

September 2, 2010

Are Dell's shareholders on Xanax? The company has finally bowed out of its mad bidding war for 3PAR. Yet its investors displayed neither much concern about overpayment nor relief about the deal being dropped. After a decade of scandals, missed opportunities and dismal performance, they may have stopped caring.

Could Silver Lake quietly be rooting for Icahn?

May 13, 2013

A half-baked leveraged recap plan is the latest salvo from the uppity billionaire in the Dell fight. If the buyout firm backing company founder Michael Dell is spooked by the swoon in PC sales, it can’t easily bail on its $24 bln bid. But Carl Icahn could bail it out instead.

3PAR battle is case of undisciplined cash vs. cash

August 27, 2010

Consumers may still be deleveraging, but at big corporations it's liquidity galore. How else to explain the curious case of the bidding war over 3PAR , a data storage company coveted by Dell and Hewlett-Packard ? There's no sound mathematical rationale for the 3PAR frenzy, which has now reached $2 billion with HP's third counter-offer to Dell.

Dell shareholders get time to come to their senses

July 18, 2013

With the vote on a $24 bln buyout too close to call, the PC maker put off the decision for a week. The hope of a sweetened bid from Michael Dell and Carl Icahn’s eleventh-hour lobbying proved too alluring. Sleeping on it a bit more, though, should make Dell’s hard reality clear.