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Dell Is Now a Private Company Again

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the back-to-the-dorms dept.

Businesses 151

Gunfighter writes "StreetInsider.com reports that Dell, Inc. completed its go-private transaction by Michael Dell, Dell's Founder, Chairman and CEO, and Silver Lake Partners, a leading global technology investment firm. Stockholders will receive $13.75 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, plus payment of a special cash dividend of $0.13 per share to stockholders of record as of the close of business on Oct. 28, 2013, for total consideration of $13.88 per share in cash. The total transaction is valued at approximately $24.9 billion."

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151 comments

Only one more step left... (5, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#45270705)

Shut it down [cnet.com]

Re:Only one more step left... (2, Insightful)

CitizenCain (1209428) | about 6 months ago | (#45270769)

Well, yeah, except that Dell was right, in 1997, about what to do with Apple as a company that made computers.

Of course, it turned out that shifting their core business model from making computers to making gadgets was an even better idea.

Re:Only one more step left... (5, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 6 months ago | (#45270857)

Except for all the success they had with iMac, Powerbook G4, iBook before iPod

Re:Only one more step left... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271067)

Mod parent up.

It was iMac and its marketing that saved the company, not iPod. iPod just made them incredibly wealthy after they were already back on their feet.

Re:Only one more step left... (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 6 months ago | (#45271771)

F*ck Dell, and their crap boxes. Now they are private? Then we know exactly who to blame for shoddy packaging and miserable IO performance.

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45272069)

I don't agree with CitizenCain but I will say in 1997 Dell's advice was completely accurate. Apple was dead but still moving. Jobs threw the old apple out and gambled on rebuilding it with an all new OS, new hardware designs and eventually new devices. Any misstep or just a stroke of bad luck and Apple would have become a historical footnote.

Re:Only one more step left... (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#45272295)

Except those were NOT that successful, and those were precisely the computers Dell was talking about and which were sinking Apple at the time.

Jobs vision was that he had to stop relying on desktop computers because he was clearly losing that war in spite of a few partially successful products. His vision saved the company by moving to gadgets, and letting the computer side play catch up. Jobs pretty much followed Dell's advice, pulling almost all the R&D money away from computers. He shit-canned his own operating system, went out and grabbed FreeBSD, Konqueror, and Cups, and packaged it to keep the faithful happy while the real effort went into the iPhone.

Only his pride prevented him from killing off the computer line altogether.

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 6 months ago | (#45272579)

Except they were, they increased Apple's profitability, increased market share and brought in revenue that allowed Apple to develop iPod, iPod Touch, iPod Nano, iPhone, and iTunes Music Store.

Jobs didn't "shit can his own operating system", Jobs switched from the System 7-OS 8 operating system to Jobs own NeXTStep/Mach kernel approach

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_OS_X#Changed_direction_under_Jobs [wikipedia.org]

Re:Only one more step left... (4, Informative)

zieroh (307208) | about 6 months ago | (#45272587)

Your grasp of history is weak, or perhaps just willfully ignorant. Michael Dell uttered those words in late 1997. The iMac was announced in 1998.

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45270989)

Well, yeah, except that Dell was right, in 1997, about what to do with Apple as a company that made computers.

Of course, it turned out that shifting their core business model from making computers to making gadgets was an even better idea.

That was then - this is now; past performance is not indicative of future performance; we all remember the correct predictions and never the incorrect ones. ...

I can think of only a couple of reasons why Dell would do this:

1. His own vanity/this is HIS baby.
2. He has an idea on how to turn the company into a cash cow (i.e. no growth to make Wall Street happy) but never the less, it will continue to give him and his children returns that he couldn't get elsewhere.
3. He's got something really radical up his sleeve that no public company in their right mind would go along with.

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

caente (1121701) | about 6 months ago | (#45271143)

Well, yeah, except that Dell was right, in 1997, about what to do with Apple as a company that made computers.

Of course, it turned out that shifting their core business model from making computers to making gadgets was an even better idea.

That was then - this is now; past performance is not indicative of future performance; we all remember the correct predictions and never the incorrect ones. ...

I can think of only a couple of reasons why Dell would do this:

1. His own vanity/this is HIS baby. 2. He has an idea on how to turn the company into a cash cow (i.e. no growth to make Wall Street happy) but never the less, it will continue to give him and his children returns that he couldn't get elsewhere. 3. He's got something really radical up his sleeve that no public company in their right mind would go along with.

I beg for #3

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#45272335)

I beg for #3

I'd settle for #2.

Dell turned sour the minute he sold controlling interest to the wall street investors who were only interested in pinching pennies.
I doubt Silver Lake is going to be a silent partner, but they would do well to give Mr Dell his way for a while.

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

somersault (912633) | about 6 months ago | (#45271161)

3. He's got something really radical up his sleeve that no public company in their right mind would go along with.

Releasing a games console? Steambox?

Bringing the call centres back to Britain? :p

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | about 6 months ago | (#45271399)

Bringing the call centres back to Britain? :p

If anything he would move them to Texas to avoid future hassle when Texas declares itself a Republic again...

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271599)

Why anyone would want to direct a public company beholding to Wall Street and next months profits is beyond me.
Since he is rich already, taking the company wherever it needs to go without the bloodsuckers is quite beneficial.
Wall Street, the largest impediment to our economy ever.

Re:Only one more step left... (2)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 6 months ago | (#45272301)

4. Or he has colluded with Icahn to depress the stock price such that the company is valued less than what he can get by chopping it and selling the components off. Between that number and $24.9 billion lies his profit.

Re:Only one more step left... (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#45271397)

Strictly speaking, it's probably most accurate to say that Dell was right about Apple 1997 except that they'd just recently made; but not yet seen the payoff from, the choice to get Jobs and NEXT.

Their "Hey, let's sell a confusing selection of increasingly antique PPCs in beige cases for increasingly risible prices, on the strength of our mostly-obsolete OS" strategy wasn't going anywhere, and would only have gotten worse as time went on (The price/performance of Wintels was improving, the sheer nastiness was decreasing (remember the good old days before bootable ATAPI CD drives and other basics? That's the kind of shit that made Apple's tendencies toward SCSI seem classy rather than merely expensive), and Apple's in-house attempt to modernize Classic MacOS was a miserable failure).

Re:Only one more step left... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271675)

Except that Apple was improving even before releasing the iPod. So while mobile has become a priority today, it was not always that way.

Dell was not right, even in 1997. And the result is his company is in the toilet, and Apple has prospered. And everyone remembers what Dell said, and how wrong he really was.

By the way, Apple still makes computers. And they still have high margins. Guess Dell got that one wrong too.

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 6 months ago | (#45272001)

If you read the original interview, you would know better than to say this. Dell never "predicted" anything to be "right" about. Dell said he would return the money to stockholders as an example of why he would be a poor choice to lead the company. The rest is a bunch of fanboys jacking off over it.

Re:Only one more step left... (3, Insightful)

harperska (1376103) | about 6 months ago | (#45271877)

There is a massive difference between taking it private and buying out the shareholders for the purpose of shutting it down, even if the first step looks the same on the surface. I have no idea what Mr. Dell is planning, but in general operating a business in a way that makes shareholders happy is not necessarily the best strategy for a technology company. Shareholders want to see the goods on a quarter-by-quarter basis, and if a particular quarter is down, the shareholders interpret that as a hiccup in the company's strategy and punish the stock accordingly. However, running a technology company requires a long-term view of the future, and a roadmap for how to get there. That roadmap may require some sacrificial quarters where emphasis is put into future R&D rather than maximizing current sales. If done properly, future awesome technology to come from that R&D more than makes up for a couple of flat quarters. But the markets don't see it that way. So the only way to be able to fully achieve the potential of the roadmap is to take the stock market out of the equation.

Re:Only one more step left... (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 6 months ago | (#45271919)

No surprise to see this inflammatory and grossly misleading article quoted here, from the usual suspect of course. SuperKendall is incapable of anything else.

Re:Only one more step left... (3, Informative)

sootman (158191) | about 6 months ago | (#45272005)

As much as it's fun to make fun of him now, there are 2 things to remember: 1) Apple was in pretty bad shape in 1997 -- a year before the iMac, 4 years before the iPod. 2) He's the CEO of the competition -- what would you expect him to say? "They're in trouble, but Steve is a great guy, he's done some creative things in the past, they should stay the course, work hard on making great products, and maybe someday they'll wipe up the floor with us!"

It's not like he's the only CEO to ever do this.

Exhibit A:

Clark is not afraid to publicly dis a company like Apple, much as Steve Jobs once mocked IBM.

"Apple," Jim Clark will sigh, as if he were talking about a horse on its way to the glue factory. "They're not doing anything... Apple blew it."

Then, with a dismissive wave of his hand, and just the hint of a grin: "I think they're in serious trouble."

-- SGI founder & chairman Jim Clark in Wired, 1994 [wired.com]

Exhibit B: Steve Ballmer laughing at the iPhone [youtube.com]

His complaints about the iPhone were somewhat valid at the time, but 1) he forgot that people WILL pay for a good product, and 2) if he wasn't aware of how Apple refined the iPod over the previous six years -- making it better and cheaper every year -- he's dumb as a rock. Oh wait, he was aware: [softpedia.com]

Business Week: How much money will you lose per Zune?

Ballmer: None. Apple put the hammer down there, dropped the price down to $249. If they had been $299, it would have been nicer. They have the advantage of scale. So we're at $249, too. We don't make a lot of money, not to start out.

So I just mark that down to "standard CEO bluster." Or maybe he really was that stupid.

This Just In... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45270729)

This just in...

Dell files paperwork for upcoming IPO.

Film at 11.

Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (4, Interesting)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 6 months ago | (#45270795)

October 6, 1997, Michael Dell was asked what he would do to fix Apple. His answer, "What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders". Well Dell has returned money to his shareholders. The Smartphone and Tablet industry will take care of the shutting-down-Dell part in due time.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45270913)

Dell has gigantic portion of the business market. desktop workstations, laptops, and servers.

Just where do you think those smartphone and tablet apps are being developed? where did the back-end infrastructure supporting them come from?

I think Dell will be ok for the time being. The day may come when our smartphone is our only computer and it bluetooth connects to whatever monitor and keyboard/mouse we happen to be standing in front of, but that's a ways off yet.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (2)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about 6 months ago | (#45271031)

Enterprise customers still need millions of new workstation traditional desktops/laptops every few years. They're especially big in the medical and education markets where tablets and smart phones don't make sense.

If anything, it's MS with their abhorred Windows 8 that's threatening Dell's traditional business success. Luckily, Windows 7 will be around until 2020.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 6 months ago | (#45271157)

Windows 8.1 does a pretty good job of making Windows almost usable again. I still don't "get" the whole touch interface on touchless monitors, but it should be more usable for people with touchscreen laptops.

Don't get me wrong, it is still very clunky in places, and changes who slew things just to move things around. I mean "shut down computer" is now in "settings", which completely baffles me.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271087)

I don't think Dell cares about smartphones and tablets. They made their name in business computing, and back in the 90's they actually had a name that meant quality. My guess is that Dell wants to revive those days, much as Jobs revived Apple when he returned from NeXT: hopefully he's learned what not to do (cheap consumer-grade crap).

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 months ago | (#45271189)

hopefully he's learned what not to do (cheap consumer-grade crap).

The problem is, the windows PC market won't support higher-quality vendors. HP tried to hold out for a long time, but once Dell and Gateway had their big race to the bottom, people would just buy cheap crap and accept the higher failure rate. Alienware could serve the gamers niche, but there aren't nearly enough of those customers to keep a large-volume vendor open for business.

I don't see Dell being able to pull out of this. He has no control of the OS, so he has no control of the user experience. He can't offer better hardware quality or service, because the market won't pay for it.

-jcr

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 6 months ago | (#45271285)

The Latitude series of laptops has, as of the E6x20/6x30 series, turned into a very high quality laptop. I'm not too thrilled with 16x9 ratio screens (previous latitudes had 16x10), but everything else is great.

And they aren't cheap either.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (4, Insightful)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#45271295)

It’s high end services, not high end computers, that M. Dell really wants to do is sell.

Take a look at what companies Dell has been buying recently. They have been high end high touch hardware (IIRC in the storage market) and consulting services. He wants to go down the same road that IBM and HP have travled.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 6 months ago | (#45271595)

Also, lots of infrastructure companies. Compellant, Equallogic, etc.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#45272535)

You put that better than me.

They are not selling naked services like Amazon’s cloud or pure consulting services like EDS. They want to sell custom hardware solutions with fat service contracts.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45272329)

Just in time for the floor to fall out out of mid-range storage as a lot of companies shift their focus to more cloudy services running on cheap ass raw disk with a software layer for management.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 6 months ago | (#45272031)

I don't see Dell being able to pull out of this. He has no control of the OS, so he has no control of the user experience.

Dell is one of Microsoft's biggest customers. They have more control over the Windows user experience than you think.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (2)

DogDude (805747) | about 6 months ago | (#45271117)

The Smartphone and Tablet industry will take care of the shutting-down-Dell part in due time.

My business runs on computers, not toys. People will need actual PC's for a long time to come. Very few people need gadgets.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 6 months ago | (#45271541)

I agree but the question is whether a company the size of Dell can sustain their business in its current form/size with only business customers. Plus with Intel only eeking out 10% performance gains between processor generations there isn't much impetus for business to upgrade very often, if at all.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (2)

rk (6314) | about 6 months ago | (#45271705)

I heard this from mainframe and midrange people 20+ years ago. I'll bet they heard it in the 60s and 70s from people who said their businesses ran on paper, not machines. Since mainframes and paper are still around and doing fine, you're half-right, but those people missed the boat on the revolutions of their time, dismissing them as "toys" and fads just as you have dismissed tablets and smartphones. Those toys are more powerful than the desktops of 10 and in some cases just 5 years ago.

I agree that nothing beats the PC for heads-down creation and data manipulation, but it's not due to the underpowered nature of these devices, but in the human/machine interface. Foldable, wearable or projection displays, better virtual keyboards, and/or advanced 3D gesture sensor systems or something else better minds that mine will think of are what will blur the lines between PCs and portable devices in the future, the same way faster and higher capacity ICs and disk drives blurred those lines between PCs, workstations, and big iron over the last two decades.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 6 months ago | (#45271131)

Yeah, but he was a competitor. It was a bald-faced competitor thing to say at the time, and a little dumb, but I don't fault him for it. Now he has a huge opportunity to buy back his old company, give it a little "Dell Magic", and sell the whole useless lot off for a huge profit. If that's what he does, he's simply being smart and I would do the exact same thing in his shoes.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 6 months ago | (#45272123)

People love to make up crap about which they know nothing. Dell was never a competitor of Apple and they never considered themselves such. Never.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 6 months ago | (#45271603)

October 6, 1997, Michael Dell was asked what he would do to fix Apple. His answer, "What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders". Well Dell has returned money to his shareholders. The Smartphone and Tablet industry will take care of the shutting-down-Dell part in due time.

Michael Dell's comment was made when Apple was having problems getting any native fully multitasking OS out for their PowerMacs, and bleeding red ink as a result, and going from one strategy to another - one day System 7 (emulated), another day Copeland, another day Pink/Taligent (anyone remember that?), another day BeOS and finally the acquisition of NEXT. What Apple would do later was beyond what was then foreseeable. And by the time Apple did get OS X out, Windows NT had won the battle for the desktop, and so Apple now had to venture into iPods, iPhones & iPads.

Here, Dell has returned the money to the shareholders, and are now fully free to make sensible long term decisions w/o worrying about short term implications, even though their ability to publicly raise money from Wall Street is somewhat hampered. Dell doesn't have to make smartphones or tablets, since it knows that Apple & Samsung have that market sealed up. They don't have to continue making PCs if they see the margins remaining as thin as they are. They even have the option of fully becoming Perot Systems and just doing IT services, and leave the PCs to the likes of Acer, Asus & Lenovo, if the PC market doesn't improve.

So Michael Dell made a reasonable comment in 1997 on Apple, and right now, he's made the right decision wrt Dell. With Wall Street off his back, he can now make sensible decisions for his company w/o burning its long term prospects for short term PR exercises

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 6 months ago | (#45272067)

Dell was not asked what he'd do to fix Apple, he was asked what he'd do if he were CEO of Apple. Big difference. Dell responded that he would be a poor choice for CEO. Naturally, you don't remember this or care to know any differently. It would put a dent in the smugness.

Nice to see all the "Interesting" comments on a Dell topic involving Apple. Par for the course.

Re:Michael Dell hoisted with his own petard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45272471)

Most threads on Slashdot these days devolve into a big Apple love-fest from the fanboys.

Not bad (4, Interesting)

postmortem (906676) | about 6 months ago | (#45270849)

Dell has one less thing to worry about: quarterly profits and revenue. This is right thing for struggling or declining companies. "analysts" won't bug them every moth how their market is shrinking and sales declining. Bet employees will feel safer too without threats of layoffs every time they don't meet "expectations"

Re:Not bad (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45270985)

You're right except for the part about layoffs. Layoffs aren't driven by stock prices, for the most part they're driven by internal numbers. This is how a profitable company can justify laying off workers that just aren't productive or at least productive enough. A company may use their decline in stock value as an outward indicator of why they're laying people off to the public but those decisions were made behind closed doors well in advance of any public knowledge.
 
A CEO and his board don't wake up one morning to a drop in stock price and scream "we need to lay people off, NOW!!" It's a bit more sophisticated than that even if you don't agree with the layoffs.

Re:Not bad (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 6 months ago | (#45271121)

It took $24.9 Billion to buy up all of Dell's outstanding shares. That money had to come somewhere. So, right from day one, the new private Dell is nearly 25 Billion in debt. There will have to be major layoffs and other changes, such as selling off parts of the business.

Re:Not bad (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#45271369)

Leverage (i.e. the debt to equity ratio) affects the volatility and risk of the equity holds. It has no effect on EBIT. Dell was also kicking out a lot of free cash so I don’t think there is going to be an issue on servicing the debt.

If there are layoffs it’s not going to be to meet debt payments. It is because M. Dell wants to get out of the low margin commodity end of the market and move upscale into high end services. I have seen some hiring on that front.

Re:Not bad (2)

tomkost (944194) | about 6 months ago | (#45271379)

The company does not own those debts. Those are owned by the investors who bought the company and took ownership.

Re:Not bad (4, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#45271471)

Nope, those are corporate debt. It’s standard practice in a Leverage Buy Out. A close analogy is when you refi your house and pull cash out. The value of the house remains the same, your personal value remains the same (both assets and liabilities increase by the same amount) , it just your debt to equity ratio increases.

Re:Not bad (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 6 months ago | (#45272153)

Rudy speaks the truth here.

I'll even take it a few steps forward. Michael Dell has probably already collected a whole list of price quotes from entities offering to buy up these assets and that page of numbers adds up to at least a dollar more than $24.9 billion. He's going to slash jobs galore, then sell the valuable parts on Craigslist or Ebay.

Re:Not bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271853)

This is true. Usually the layoffs come after months of hand wringing, stock holders clambering for "change," and vultures threatening to buy stocks to force their idea of change. Then after looking past their own boardroom the top managers decide to "shed" some jobs in order to placate the people who cannot think more than three days ahead. After a couple quarters of that they cash out and pull the cord to their golden parachute to land on the beach in Bermuda.

Re:Not bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271923)

For the longest time, my company would lay people off to give themselves wiggle room to move funds around, making it look like we were meeting revenue targets for shareholders. If we did not have to satisfy shareholders, said layoffs would not have been necessary (in fact doing all this -cost- us in the longer term)

Fortunately that executive has since decided to utilize his golden parachute, and managed to take his cronies with him. Good riddance.

Re:Not bad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45272285)

A CEO and his board don't wake up one morning to a drop in stock price and scream "we need to lay people off, NOW!!" It's a bit more sophisticated than that even if you don't agree with the layoffs.

Right. It's the boys from McKinsey break the news to the CEO that after camping out in the conference room for six weeks.

Re:Not bad (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 6 months ago | (#45271485)

Not just that, Michael Dell can now determine what Dell needs to be. Do they become the rebranded Perot Systems, and stop competing w/ the likes of Asus & Lenovo, or do they become the US edition of Acer & Lenovo? Looks like they'd do a lot better being the former, and just retiring their PCs & laptop biz, aside from maintenance & warranty contracts, and just focus on selling IT services

Sweet! So when is the IPO? (4, Funny)

Marrow (195242) | about 6 months ago | (#45270897)

I mean, given the climate is there really a doubt there will be one?

Re:Sweet! So when is the IPO? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 6 months ago | (#45271587)

What's so funny about this? Folks love IPOs. Wall Street loves them. The press get all excited, and pundit talking heads start squawking. Everybody thinks that they make money on an IPOs. Actually, probably the Wall Street folks end up making the most money on an IPO.

I think Dell will just ride out the current bad weather in the PC business, and wait for blue skies, when everyone has forgotten why it went private in the first place

Then do another juicy IPO. Most companies only do one money generating IPO in their lifetime. This could be the start of a new trend of companies having a series of IPOs.

Actually, the more I think of it, this is exactly what private equity firms do: take something private, loot and pillage, and then sell it again as something remotely close to profitable.

On paper, at least.

Re:Sweet! So when is the IPO? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 6 months ago | (#45271931)

Just what do you call an IPO that isn't actually the initial public offering? SPO?

Re:Sweet! So when is the IPO? (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 6 months ago | (#45272369)

You beat me to it. As soon as they can get their lies together "Wall Street. Here we come." There's always money to be made on an IPO. At least for the insiders.

Just in time for Windows 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45270935)

Looks like he got control at just the right time, now that Windows 8 PCs / Laptops / Tablets are flying off the shelves......

Re:Just in time for Windows 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45270951)

Windows 8 is a cunning ploy to sell more copies of windows 7 and build anticipation for windows 9.

Will Dell resurrect Project Ophelia? (3, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about 6 months ago | (#45270971)

since they are no longer bound to share-holders; and can innovate for the sake of innovation? No need to bow down to MS Overlords and do as they or the so-called markets please. They can afford to lose a billion bucks in chasing their own dreams.

Re:Will Dell resurrect Project Ophelia? (3, Informative)

IYagami (136831) | about 6 months ago | (#45271097)

since they are no longer bound to share-holders; and can innovate for the sake of innovation? No need to bow down to MS Overlords and do as they or the so-called markets please. They can afford to lose a billion bucks in chasing their own dreams.

Well... MS Overlords have lent Dell $2 billion.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2048627/dell-goes-private-as-shareholders-approve-249-billion-deal.html [pcworld.com]

"Dell on February 5 announced that Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake had offered $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share, to buy out the company. The offer, subject to shareholder approval, included a $2 billion loan from Microsoft, and debt financing from Bank of America, RBC Capital Markets, Merrill Lynch, and Barclays."

Re:Will Dell resurrect Project Ophelia? (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 6 months ago | (#45271427)

I don’t think so but I am still scratching my head over the loan.

Bondholders have no say in how the company is run. Well, unless the company goes bankrupt. Of the cash needed it was only a small slice. There was the chance to get an equity slice but MS passed. Maybe for good will but it still confuses me.

What a total ripoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45270995)

Talk about bilking shareholder value. The shares were worth WAY more than that in reality but they've been cooking the books to depress the value to make the venture capitalists and Michael Dell filthy stinkin' rich.

Business as usual in the good 'ole US of Murka.

Re:What a total ripoff (1)

jcr (53032) | about 6 months ago | (#45271247)

The shares were worth WAY more than that in reality

Nope. The shares were worth what people were willing to pay for them on the stock exchange. Anything else is just wishful thinking.

-jcr

Re:What a total ripoff (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 6 months ago | (#45271725)

Well, I can think of some scenarios where the stock price does not actually reflect the true value of the company. Like Enron and world com. The price people are willing to pay is dependant on the information they have about the company. If that is wrong due to book cooking, then the value those with the faulty infomation have placed on it is also wrong.

Michael Dell is Jewish (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271261)

what do you expect?

Re:What a total ripoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271311)

Yeah! Give that money to the workers! I'm not sure why but fuck it, The People (note the fucking capitalization, you capitalist pigs) DEMAND IT.

Shipping Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271065)

Now that things have settled at Dell, maybe my company can get new laptops shipped to us in less than 30-40 days...

This can be a good thing (1)

Enry (630) | about 6 months ago | (#45271173)

..though it may take a while to get there.

Dell no longer has to worry about what happens in the next quarter or fiscal year. Instead of trying to maximize profit, they can start looking a few years down the road and make some investments that won't pay off for a while. They have a better ability to take risks without the threat of a shareholder lawsuit. Employees no longer have to wonder if there's going to be mass layoffs next month to boost the stock price by a percent. But in the meantime they have very little ability to raise extra cash and employees are going to want some sort of incentive to stay now that ESPs have been discontinued. As long as they can keep their cashflow and talent for a few years they'll be fine in the server market.

Re:This can be a good thing (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 6 months ago | (#45271445)

I would love to see someone else copy Apple in one regard. Make less choices for the customer. There doesn't need to be 10 different desktop models, and 10 different laptop models. Apple has 3 desktops (mini, iMac and Mac Pro), while allowing the user to choose a few basic options like amount of RAM, hard drive space, and processor speed. And they have 2 models of laptops. Customers know exactly what they are getting with Apple, and they know when there's a new model available, because it only happens once a year. With Dell, and other PC manufacturers, there's tons of different models, nobody really knows how to compare one to the other, and you never know how old the current model is, and when the new model is coming out.

Re:This can be a good thing (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | about 6 months ago | (#45271563)

New models come out when intel releases a new processor architecture.

the rest I agree with you about though.

Re:This can be a good thing (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 6 months ago | (#45271767)

While I agree they need fewer models than they currently have for sale, the optimal number is probably higher than what Apple has. Plus, they'd wan't to keep seperate lines for buisness and consumer for part availiblilty.

A Great Opportunity? (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 6 months ago | (#45271271)

This is a huge opportunity for Dell to become more than just a badge on custom OEM hardware, and start making innovative products. My impression is this is a tall order, they haven't really been an innovative company outside of direct sales and supply chains. Innovative products are not part of their DNA, and the inertia of existing mid-level managers will be difficult to overcome.

TFA mentions they have a long term plan, but I've not even seen much speculation on what it is. Let the rumor mill churn.

why the timing might not be terrible (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 6 months ago | (#45271477)

With so many people predicting the death of laptops, servers, and workstations, to tablets and smartphones...despite how stupid such a claim is...I'd imagine that over the medium term the stock is substantially undervalued. If he did steps to revive things, stocks might go up, then he'd have to pay more. Now he can take bigger risks, change things more dramatically/dynamically, etc. Being in corporate america I just cannot see how anyone who does real work would ever try to do something on a tablet. They're great for taking notes during a meeting, but beyond that...such devices are for content consumption, not content production. There will still be servers, workstations, and yes - even laptops, for years to come. Windows8 may have farked some stuff up, but all the better to maybe partner closely with Ubuntu and make a mac-like integration suite, or...?

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271525)

As an independent contractor for Dell (and other companies), this is excellent news! The quality of Dell's services has decreased substantially over the last few years. Project management has been simply atrocious and is very costly for independent technicians like myself who commit to doing projects for Dell and then get cancelled without notice or compensation. I'm looking forward to working on Dell projects in the future that are as organized and efficient as IBM's.

no one will read this = stupid comment system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45271607)

The reason - their stock is so undervalued they are a liquidation target. Dell can die slow or be ripped apart. Pity no one will read this because some people don't want to attach their names to posts - like Dell employees for instance. Nice one slashdot.

Re:no one will read this = stupid comment system (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 6 months ago | (#45271963)

Plenty of people browse at zero, numbnuts, and you're not exactly giving anybody any 'super secret inside scoop'. Anybody with a pair of brain cells to rub together could see the same thing from the outside.

Re:no one will read this = stupid comment system (1)

rourin_bushi (816292) | about 6 months ago | (#45272201)

Sadly, I would wager that the reason his comment will not be read by many folks has more to do with how far down the page it is, rather than the karma rating.

(I browse at -1 anyway)

good (1)

Khashishi (775369) | about 6 months ago | (#45271619)

Public corporations are automatically evil since the public shareholders are evil. Private company at least has a chance to be not evil.

A chance to start over (1, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#45271623)

How about making some quality workstation laptops for business users?

We want:
  - Rock-solid build quality and screen hinges
  - Sturdy keyboards with standard 7-row layout (text nav 3x2 cluster, F key groupings, non-chiclet)
  - Stick mouse (clit mouse, whatever you want to call it) with actual buttons, not these bullshit buttons built into a trackpad
  - Understated, boxy designs (no flashy bullshit)
  - 4:3 screens (or, at least, 5:4)

Lenovo has completely fucked up the ThinkPad line by removing literally every great feature that made a ThinkPad great. Go and eat their lunch.

Re:A chance to start over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45272321)

I feel your pain, brother, but the reality is that we're going to see a devolution of keyboards into the crap MS Surface type junk.
People who use keyboards are in the minority. Enjoy your chicklet keys while you can.
Everything is going to be fingerpainting. Money is in consumption, not creation.

Re:A chance to start over (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#45272405)

Right... and once everything is designed for consumption, how will anyone actually create anything to be consumed?

Re:A chance to start over (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about 6 months ago | (#45272521)

Right... and once everything is designed for consumption, how will anyone actually create anything to be consumed?

The creators will use desktops.

Your tax dollars at work (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 6 months ago | (#45271899)

Going "private", right. The money supposedly comes from Silver Lake Venture Partners. But they don't have $24 billion. Most of it is borrowed. From banks. Which borrow it from the Fed at very low rates. Which creates Government debt to pay for it.

"Private equity" today is really equity to debt conversion. With interest rates so low, that's very attractive to management.

This is "quantitative easing" at work.

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