Dell to invest more on PCs, tablets after $25 billion buyout win

Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:44pm EDT
 
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By Poornima Gupta

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Michael Dell clinched shareholders' approval on Thursday for his $25 billion offer to buy and take Dell Inc private, ending months of bitter conflict with the company's largest investors and removing the uncertainty shrouding the world's No. 3 PC maker.

The company plans to invest in the personal computer and tablet markets, in expanding sales coverage, and in growing its distribution network, founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell said in a conference call after the shareholder vote.

End-user computing, defined as devices such as PCs and tablets, remains an important focus for the company despite the rapid decline of the global personal computer market, the CEO told reporters briefly, without elaborating or taking questions.

A "significant incremental investment" is required to turnaround the company, and having two strong private investors will aid the restructuring, he added.

Shareholders cast their votes at a special meeting on Thursday morning in Round Rock, Texas. Based on preliminary results, the buyout has secured their go-ahead and the deal is expected to close before the end of the fiscal third quarter.

The company's pace of internal transformation should now quicken. Sealing the deal should also assuage customers who have grown wary of the company's direction during a very public battle that pit major Wall Street players Icahn, Southeastern Asset Management and T. Rowe Price against the CEO.

"We still have a long way to go and many challenges to meet," the company founder said. "But under a new private company structure, we will have the flexibility to accelerate our strategy and pursue both organic and inorganic investment without the scrutiny, quarterly targets and other limitations of operating as a public company."

Asked if layoffs were in the offing, CFO Brian Gladden said there would be a company "re-alignment," without elaborating.   Continued...

 
Michael Dell Chairman and CEO of Dell Inc. arrives at the launch event of Windows 8 operating system in New York, October 25, 2012. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson