Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Blackstone Group, Carl Icahn Working on Offers to Buy Dell

dell_brainstormIt looks like there’s going to be a bidding war for Dell.

Private equity firm Blackstone Group has made a bid for the computer company, according a report from Bloomberg News that cited unnamed sources.

Dell’s go-shop period, under which a special committee of its board of directors is seeking superior offers to the $24.2 billion Michael Dell/Silver Lake buyout offer announced last month, technically expires today, so if an offer has been submitted, it is coming in at the last second. No offers had been confirmed as of the close of business Friday.

Dell will announce the results of the go-shop period on Monday, at which time we’ll get a look at Blackstone’s terms. Also ahead in the Dell-buyout process is a deeply detailed proxy filing that will lay out the reasoning behind the original buyout offer as well as explain the valuation.

Update: Activist investor Carl Icahn is also getting in on the action. The Wall Street Journal reports that Icahn is working on a bid. Notifying Dell’s special committee that bids are coming should extend the go-shop period by four days, the Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.

Icahn stepped into the Dell buyout frenzy on March 6, announcing that he had taken a 6 percent stake in Dell and that he opposed the Dell-Silver Lake offer, and arguing that a better way to use Dell’s cash would be to pay a special dividend amounting to $9 a share. He also threatened Dell with “years of litigation” if the board refused his offer.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik