Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Today Is Dell’s Last Day as a Public Company

dell_brainstormSay good-bye to DELL. Not the company, Dell Inc., but the ticker symbol.

Today, the company announced the formal closing of its $25 billion go-private transaction. Dell shares will cease trading on the Nasdaq exchange after the close of business today in New York.

As part of the deal, shareholders will get a 13-cent-per-share dividend payment that was formally authorized by the board of directors, plus $13.75 for each share they own. The company will now have only two shareholders: Founder and CEO Michael Dell, and private equity firm Silver Lake.

The deal had been contested in a drawn-out fight with activist investor Carl Icahn, who argued that the transaction undervalued Dell. Ultimately, Icahn backed down after shareholders approved the deal on Sept. 12.

This marks the end of an era for a company that once personified the early days of the personal computer industry, and the close of a 25-year run as a publicly traded company, including 17 years on the closely watched Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Now, rivals like Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Asus will be forced to contend with a more aggressive Dell, one willing to fight for every scrap of market share and accept a thinner profit margin without the worry of meeting the growth expectations of public shareholders.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald