Dell shareholders approve $24.9bn deal to take firm private

Dell building

Dell shareholders have provisionally approved plans for the PC vendor's CEO to take the firm private in a deal worth $24.9 billion.

The transaction will see company founder, chairman and CEO Michael Dell acquire the firm in partnership with investors Silver Lake Partners, with shareholders receiving $13.75 in cash for every share of the company's common stock they own.

I am energised to continue building Dell into the industry's leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions.

The company is reportedly embarking on the move so that it can transform itself from purveyor of PC hardware to a provider of enterprise IT services away from prying eyes.

Michael Dell said in a statement that he was pleased with the outcome of the vote, which has been postponed on several occasions so that changes to the polling system could be pushed through.

The voting changes meant the deal would be determined by majority votes cast by unaffiliated shareholders, and would prevent those who abstained from voting as being counted as against the deal.

"I am energised to continue building Dell into the industry's leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions," said Michael Dell.

"As a private enterprise, with a strong private-equity partner, we'll serve our customers with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help them achieve their goals."

The company's founder has also been embroiled in a battle with activist investor Carl Icahn who, since March, has fought to have Michael Dell's plans to take the company private blocked.

The reason for this is because Icahn felt the CEO's bid undervalued the company's shares.

However, Icahn, the company's second-largest shareholder, beat a hasty retreat earlier this week by announcing he would drop his bid to head off the deal, claiming a war with the company's founder and its board would be "almost impossible to win."

"I would like to thank our 110,000 team members around the world who, throughout this process, have remained focused on serving our customers with unity, purpose and pride," Michael Dell added.

"As our company continues to expand its enterprise solutions and services business, our team members will be Dell's most valuable asset and the key to our future success."

The transaction is expected to close before the end of Dell's third quarter, subject to closing conditions.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.