Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Dell’s Days as a Public Company Will End With a 13-Cent Dividend Payment

Computing giant Dell is running up against the last few days of its existence as a public company. Soon to be privately held as the result of a $25 billion buyout approved last month by shareholders, Dell said today that one of its last official acts before delisting its shares on the Nasdaq will be to pay shareholders a special dividend of 13 cents.

CEO Michael Dell, who, along with private equity firm Silver Lake, is buying out the company he founded in his college dorm room in the 1980s, agreed to add the special dividend on Aug. 2, as the result of a drawn-out wrangle for control of the company with activist investor Carl Icahn.

The deal is expected to close before Nov. 1, which is two weeks from today. Once it does, the dividend will be paid, and the shares will formally cease trading.

One piece of business that will follow: The board of directors will shrink from 10 members to three. According to a Bloomberg report and since independently confirmed by AllThingsD, the new board will be comprised of CEO Michael Dell, along with Egon Durban and Simon Patterson, both managing directors at Silver Lake.

At this, let’s look back on Dell’s history as a publicly traded company. While it has had a lot of challenges in its recent past, it’s worth remembering what a wealth-generating machine Dell has been since its 1988 IPO.

Have a look at this Google finance chart. Over its 25 years and change of trading as a public company, Dell shares have risen by more than 13,000 percent versus a 900 percent return for the Nasdaq over the same period. Given the longest possible view, it has been an impressive run. (Click to make bigger.)

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google