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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Rival Dell Buyout Plans Duke It Out 59

Posted by samzenpus
from the last-bid-standing dept.
jfruh writes "Michael Dell's plan to take the company he founded private, with help from Microsoft, isn't going smoothly. Corporate raider and major Dell stockholder Carl Icahn has presented a rival plan that would shut Michael Dell out. Perhaps predictably, the Dell board isn't sold on Icahn's idea, saying it will leave the company short of cash, even though they haven't been able to fully evaluate it yet."
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Rival Dell Buyout Plans Duke It Out

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  • Icahn is bluffing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JoeyRox (2711699) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:10AM (#43710401)
    He has no interest in the company - he just wants a quick payday. Problem for him is nobody is really that interested in Dell, so his machinations aren't going to work this time. It's comical that he thinks the company is worth north of $20/share.
    • by game kid (805301) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:16AM (#43710475) Homepage

      "Why am I making such a big offer for Dell that would drive out Mr. Dell? Because Icahn."

    • Re:Icahn is bluffing (Score:5, Informative)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:17AM (#43710489) Journal

      Exactly. A quick look at his little history (especially with Yahoo a few years back) shows that he's only in it to score some meat from a dying company while the victim is still breathing. Notice that he doesn't really go after healthy, growing companies - only those which show signs of being in serious trouble.

      I suspect that if you work for a larger company? A perfect indicator of your corp being in deep kimchi would be the presence of Carl Icahn's active attempts at your company's financials... it's like seeing the Angel of Death, only he's going after the board of directors.

      • by alen (225700) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:25AM (#43710577)

        the original premise behind private equity was to buy a down on its luck company, fix its problems and get it profitable again. then sell it and pocket the profit on the real effort you did.

        today's version is to buy up a company with low debt and strong cash flow, saddle with debt, take the cash and run. management and shareholders like it as well since they get paid too

        buying up healthy companies screws the employees

        • Re:Icahn is bluffing (Score:4, Informative)

          by mabhatter654 (561290) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:30AM (#43710615)

          Or in this case, Dell buys ITSELF back from stockholders "at large" and gets to decide who plays. So they can run the company without month-to-month dealing with these frivolous stockholder games.

          • They also save a nice bundle of tax money. Profits that are paid out to shareholders in dividends have to have income tax paid on them by the corporation, and the shareholders then have to pay income tax on those dividends themselves. Interest on debt is an expense and the corporation doesn't pay tax on it (although the debtholder still does when he collects it).

          • Sure, but here you have the CEO telling the other shareholders that as long as he works for them, he can't improve the value of the company above $13 and change per share, but if they go away, he has great structural and product ideas to improve that value. (and no, the compliance costs of being a public company is not the difference)

            He cannot argue both of those points simultaneously and expect not to get pushback from shareholders who think he is pulling a fast on on them. If he is correct in his view

            • Sure he can. Stockholders only care about the NEXT paycheck so they can cash out. Mr Dell wants to pull an Apple and pool his resources for a big new direction. That means he needs a few quarters off the hamster wheel. He wants to not worry about sales and take the company in for an overhaul. You simply can't do that with guys like Ichan constantly meddeling in what's not their job.

              It's the same problem JC Penny CEO had .. It didn't start making money in 3 quarters with the changes only half done. That's

        • by Anonymous Coward

          today's version is to buy up a company with low debt and strong cash flow, saddle with debt, take the cash and run. management and shareholders like it as well since they get paid too

          buying up healthy companies screws the employees

          That's always been what the private equity or as it was known back then, corporate raiders, did.

          I have never seen when they bought a "down on its luck" company, fixed it up, and sold it at a profit. If they did fix it, it was by accident.

          Companies that were down on its luck were usually fixed up by someone that the board brought in - IBM and Lou Gerstner as a perfect example or Apple and bringing back Jobs.

      • by mitgib (1156957)

        Exactly. A quick look at his little history (especially with Yahoo a few years back) shows that he's only in it to score some meat from a dying company while the victim is still breathing. Notice that he doesn't really go after healthy, growing companies - only those which show signs of being in serious trouble.

        Netflix doesn't seem to be showing signs of trouble, or serious trouble. They had a big bump in the road with Quickster, but seem to be all stream ahead now.

        • You have to give it some time before Icahn gets interested. Netflix had a transient bump in the road, while Yahoo and Dell have had year-on-year headaches for stockholder and CFO alike.

          There seems to be a theme of what could best be termed the 'has-been' factor (companies that were once-great, have strong brand recognition, but are no longer serious contenders). For instance, I think that if Nokia were based in the US and not Finland, Icahn would be busily trying to rape them right now instead of Dell.

      • Exactly. A quick look at his little history (especially with Yahoo a few years back) shows that he's only in it to score some meat from a dying company while the victim is still breathing. Notice that he doesn't really go after healthy, growing companies - only those which show signs of being in serious trouble.

        I suspect that if you work for a larger company? A perfect indicator of your corp being in deep kimchi would be the presence of Carl Icahn's active attempts at your company's financials... it's like seeing the Angel of Death, only he's going after the board of directors.

        This happened at the company that I work for. The company had some serious business issues that drove our stock down. We would have recovered but Icahn came in, worked to get members on the BOD, and sold us off to another company. In our case, it actually worked out well as the company that purchased us badly needed diversification and kept most employees on and the division intact.

        Two pieces of advice: 1. If Icahn comes calling for your company, buy up as much stock as possible, especially if you have

    • by magarity (164372)

      Problem for him is nobody is really that interested in Dell, so his machinations aren't going to work this time.

      Actually no, the problem is that Mr Dell IS interested in Dell which is why Icahn's mechinations aren't going well.

    • It's comical that he thinks the company is worth north of $20/share.

      If you look at the cash and assets that dell has saved up, Dell is worth $20 a share, even if they don't sell another computer ever. That is why it is worth so much.

      • by Bigby (659157)

        The total equity for the company is $10.7B. It has grown steadily $1.2-2.2B per year. Both debt and assets are increasing at a steady pace, but assets are outpacing debt.

        $10.7B/1.75B shares ~ $6/share. How is it worth $20/share? On top of that, their assets are as valuable for someone else as they are for them, AT BEST.

        Also, the 1.75B probably doesn't include all shares...

  • all about the $$$ (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ganjadude (952775) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:18AM (#43710501) Homepage
    I dont think he has any real interest in buying the company. I think he is trying to leverage a higher payout on his shares in the end. Cant blame him for wanting to maximize his cash but he is really acting like a dick
    • I dont think he has any real interest in buying the company. I think he is trying to leverage a higher payout on his shares in the end. Cant blame him for wanting to maximize his cash but he is really acting like a dick

      I'm pretty sure Carl Icahn has never actually bought any company. He just makes a lot of noise and causes a lot of trouble until they pay him to go away.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ryanrule (1657199)

      "Cant blame him for wanting to maximize his cash"

      I sure as shit can.

      • by ganjadude (952775)
        really? does that mean you wouldnt? we all think hes a dick, but can we blame him? if i were in his shoes id sure as hell try and maximize my profits
        • by Ryanrule (1657199)

          Just because something is legal, does not make it ethical.

          Also, when you have money like this fuckface, its about as unethical as it gets.

    • "I think he is trying to leverage a higher payout on his shares in the end. Cant blame him for wanting to maximize his cash but he is really acting like a dick"

      Who's more of a dick: Carl Icahn trying to maximize his cash on a per-rata basis along with everyone else that owns the company... or Michael Dell trying to maximize his cash which is in direct conflict with the interests of the other people that own the company?

      • by ganjadude (952775)
        well the company is DELL computers... if michael DELL wants to own his own company, i dont see how thats him being a dick... its his company, and its named after him....
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It can safely be assumed that any proposal put forward by Carl Icahn is purely self-serving to the detriment of anyone who gets in his way. If his bid wins, you can write off Dell as a company - he will raid everything of value and the company will be left in shambles within two years, tops. Michael Dell, however, will do everything possible to salvage the company and turn it around and make it into the company it deserves to be. I'm sure shareholders will only care about what's in it for them but I can vir

    • It can safely be assumed that any proposal put forward by Carl Icahn is purely self-serving to the detriment of anyone who gets in his way. If his bid wins, you can write off Dell as a company - he will raid everything of value and the company will be left in shambles within two years, tops.

      I can't disagree with that. However:

      Michael Dell, however, will do everything possible to salvage the company and turn it around and make it into the company it deserves to be.

      Is just absurd. Michael Dell returned as CEO 6 or 7 years ago. If he will " turn it around and make it into the company it deserves to be" why hasn't he done it already? What's he waiting for? Maybe he can do a better job running Dell once the deal is complete and they are $24 Billion in debt?

      • Whether Michael Dell can succeed is a different matter, but he will try to turn the company around. Icahn is in it to make money even if that means destroying Dell as a company.
        • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:55AM (#43710915)

          Whether Michael Dell can succeed is a different matter, but he will try to turn the company around. .

          Whether or not Michael Dell will successfully turn Dell around is not the question. The question is, why hasn't he done it already since he's been CEO for about 7 years. If he hasn't been able to do it in the past 7 years, why would the next 2 or 3 years be any different?

          • He believes that Wall St. is ruining his company, and I agree with him, having worked there.

            Of course I'm not sure he can turn it around, he's a bit too far up the MBA rectum I think to turn a technology company around.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            That's why he's trying to take it private again. Stockholders demand sustained double digit growth. Sometimes to get a company that is floundering stable and successful again it requires investment in new technology and ideas. Stockholders seeing declining growth often lack the patience it takes to get there. They're resistant to spending money when the company is losing money. This fear has killed many a corporation. Now that doesn't mean spending willy nilly is a good idea either, but if you are so

  • Didn't Dell's board strike a deal with Ichan just a month ago and he wasn't going to go the "make a bunch of noise" route? More importantly he was going to stop causing trouble?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Oh, you believed his promises? What next, you're going to marry a prostitute and rebuild a shipyard to make up for the fact that you've spent your life raping the world?

  • by WilyCoder (736280) on Monday May 13, 2013 @10:29AM (#43710599)

    Icahn to Dell: "Dude, you're not getting a dell"

  • I thought the example of Nokia should be enough now. That's sad, I really enjoy my Vostro laptops.
    I guess after the deal is done Dell will be offering Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets and go south.

  • Icahn's reputation compared to others in the field of buying control of companies is pretty good, if what you value is keeping good parts intact and shedding waste.
  • "Icaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhnnn!"

    I know - shit joke, I'll get my coat...

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