Dell has made the news several times in recent weeks, from the moment it first broke that founder Michael Dell had a plan to take the company private. Undertaking such an effort would mean buying back all the outstanding shares of the company and reverting to something run by just a few interested parties.
For a while, it seemed like the CEO wouldn’t be successful in his attempt, as various parties rose up to block the sale and make a bid on their own merits. Things are looking up in recent days, however, as it seems likely that a coalition composed of Michael Dell, Silver Lake Partners, and Microsoft (who was approached by Silver Lake and agreed to contribute $2 billion to make the deal a reality) will take control of the world’s third largest PC manufacturer.
One of the main reasons Michael Dell wishes to take the company private is to shield it from the public at large – and the investors in specifics. The CEO wants to change tactics, and push Dell towards a path of high-end services marketed towards enterprise customers, a move once successfully engineered by IBM.
One issue with such a manuver is that it may make the company’s finances look less healthy than shareholders would accept, and put an end to Dell’s plan before it even got off the ground. By taking the company private once again, those prying eyes won’t be much of an issue.
The Round Rock, TX-based PC giant needs all the help it can get right now, with increasingly lackluster sales; some of that blame, says Dell, falls straight upon Microsoft’s shoulders. In a statement released to the SEC on the potential privitization, Dell referred to “the uncertain adoption of the Windows 8 operating system,” as one of the primary drivers behind a “difficult environment faced by the Company as a result of its underperformance relative to a number of its competitors.”
Another factor in Dell’s current troubles is the company’s lack of participation in some of the hottest growing segments of the technology market – the company has yet to produce a strong-selling tablet, and stopped selling smartphones some time ago.