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2 More Suitors Offer To Take Over Dell

Mar 25, 2013
Originally published on March 25, 2013 7:34 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well, new plans may be in the works at Dell. The board of the computer company is said to be weighing several takeover offers. Dell's founder has allied with the private equity firm Silver Lake to take the company private.

And as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, over the past few days, two other suitors have stepped forward with new offers.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: This is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic takeover battles the private equity industry has seen in years, says Colin Blaydon, professor of management at Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.

COLIN BLAYDON: This is the biggest one since the bubble burst in '07-'08 by quite some margin.

ZARROLI: In addition to Silver Lake, the private equity giant Blackstone is said to have launched a bid for Dell, and so has private investor Carl Icahn. Dell is an attractive target because it's got a powerful brand and brings in a lot of cash. And it's affordable right now because its stock price has fallen so much.

Blaydon says Silver Lake has a big advantage because it has the support of Michael Dell, who founded the company at 19 and is still a major shareholder.

BLAYDON: But Blackstone has put together some of the most aggressive deals out there. They know how to do this.

ZARROLI: Moreover, some of Dell's biggest investors are said to be unhappy with the Silver Lake bid, so they're willing to listen to new offers. And Dell's board is obligated to weigh any deal that comes in and pick the one that's best for shareholders.

To make their offers more attractive, the potential buyers may need to raise their offers, and that could intensify the bidding war for the company.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.