In the 7 months since Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners announced plans to take Dell private, the pair has had a series of issues. He had to raise his bid because of loud major investors, plus the disaster that accompanies Carl Icahn's involvement in a corporation.
This week, the battle is over and Mr. Dell and Silver Lake have won their bid to purchase all outstanding shares for a total of $24.9 billion. The newly private company will look similar to the existing, or at least go faster down the path stockholders have been displeased with. The transition, according to Mr. Dell, is from a primarily personal computer manufacturer to a primarily software services company. Dell has said, however, that it will continue manufacturing hardware.
This transition is one that was announced by HP CEO Leo Apotheker, eventually leading to his termination. IBM also made a similar move, selling its computer business to Lenovo and immediately becoming irrelevant.
There are some companies in the industry who are having successes in both hardware and online service offerings. The biggest of these companies are Microsoft, Google and Amazon. The commonality between these three, however, is that they were offering online services first and got into the hardware business to support those services, not the other way around. This would indicate to me that corporate consumers are looking for a single stop for all of their technology needs.
Now, as a private company, there will be only one person that will answer for the decisions made: Michael Dell himself. Whether this transition is successful or not, we will know soon enough.
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