Dell’s tracking stock 2.0 boasts fixes, new bugs

October 20, 2015

The tech crash of 2000 exposed governance gaps and other risks of synthetic shares pegged to certain assets. The PC maker has patched some flaws in proposing to issue shadow VMware stock in its $60 bln-plus deal for EMC. But investors still might not relish the user experience.

EMC investors get $67 bln ticket out of trouble

October 12, 2015

Michael Dell and others are paying $33 a share for the tech conglomerate. Sure, most of the notional 38 pct premium comes as a flaky tracking stock in EMC sub VMware. But there are no other obvious bidders and breaking up the company is a risky alternative for only slight gains.

Dell’s gnarly $50 bln EMC idea smells of peak M&A

October 8, 2015

The PC maker may offer to buy the data-storage firm. Borrowing $40 bln or so wouldn’t be easy. Spinning off part of EMC’s 81 pct stake in its $35 bln subsidiary VMware would add complexity, too, and make it tough for the numbers to work for everyone. It could be a deal too far.

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.