We’ve been talking lately about the Dell CEO’s attempt to take his company private once again, encountering rival bids from Blackstone and Carl Icahn. Now, rumors say, he might be willing to talk. It seemed so guaranteed just a couple of months ago, that Michael Dell would be successful in his buyout attempt, thanks to help from Silver Lake equity firm and a $2 billion cash infusion from Microsoft.
These rival bids, however, have cast the surety of that move into substantial doubt. The rivals are reportedly upset that the founder’s buyout plan doesn’t value Dell’s stock to the extent they deem appropriate. Both of the rival bids offer shareholders a slightly improved value plan. Until now, Michael Dell hasn’t given any indication that he’d go along with any of the competing offers.
Rumors are surfacing, however, that Dell is considering going along with the Blackstone proposal – which would keep the company public – while maintaining pressure on his own offer. The support would come with a number of conditions, however, chief among them being that he would get to stay on as the company’s CEO. It’s clear that the founder is worried that Blackstone’s offer may win the day, and with talk circulating that Blackstone has approached ex-HP CEO Mark Hurd to run the company (if Blackstone’s offer is accepted) it’s obvious that the exective is trying to hedge his bets.
If the CEO is unable to stay on in his position, rumors say that he would cash in his shares, and leave – in that circumstance, though, Blackstone would need to find additional financing to come up with the necessary $4.5 billion.