Dell Supposedly In LBO Talks, Stock Soars

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments ago Bloomberg broke news that $19 billion market cap Dell may be in talks to go public. The result was a 10% surge in the stock that halted the stock as a circuit was triggered. Of course, there was a headline caveat that "LBO TALKS MAY NOT LEAD TO A DEAL." Which is not improbable: at $19 billion market cap, the equity check would be substantial for any consortium of buyers, not to mention the debt. Then again this must be the New Normal LBO announcement, where PE firms "leak" news of a going private deal just so they get to pay an even higher 20% premium to a closing stock price.  But the truly hilarious part is that the entire multi-trillion market jumped as if stung following the news. And that is what passes for efficient markets these days. Unless, of course, the "here come the LBOs" thesis is now in play.

And the full article from Bloomberg, based on "two people with knowledge of the matter" - who? Icahn and Tilson? And did any two "people" who may or may not communicate with both themselves, and Bloomberg reports, buy a substantial amount of ATM/OTM calls in the past few days in Dell?

Dell Inc. (DELL), the personal-computer maker that lost almost a third of its value last year, is in buyout talks with private-equity firms, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

 

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell is discussing going private with at least two firms, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The discussions are preliminary and could fall apart because the firms may not be able to line up the needed financing or resolve how to exit the investment in the future, the people said.

 

Several large banks have been contacted about financing an offer, one of the people said.

 

Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell has been using acquisitions to help the company he founded sell more computers and services to businesses. Dell is struggling to regain share in the PC market as consumers switch to tablets, including Apple Inc.’s iPad, and smartphones such as the handsets that use Google Inc.’s Android software.

 

CEO Dell owns 15.7 percent of the company, making it easier for firms to put together equity financing for the deal, one of the people said.

 

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded the stock to buy in December, saying that Dell’s net cash balance presents an opportunity for a leveraged buyout.

 

While demand for PCs has declined, Dell’s net cash balance of $5.15 billion provides “some downside buffer as it produces opportunity for an LBO or levered recap under the right conditions,” Bill Shope, an analyst at Goldman Sachs, wrote in the report. “Dell has become an attractive deep value play and we would be buyers of the stock.”

 

Michael Dell, who retook the CEO position in 2007, said in 2010 he had considered taking the company private.

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HedgeAccordingly's picture

In other news. RIMM job is soaring. 

AccreditedEYE's picture

What a surprise, we are on the highs... nothing says Bull Market like dead tech, bitchez.

naiverealist's picture

Check your lead.  The headline says g private, but the firsst sentence says go public.

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

When assessing price, remember that the C is PC now stands for Commodity.

NotApplicable's picture

I was thinking it stands for Probably China.

Anybody know how to say "Dude, you're getting Dell" in Mandarin?

CaptainSpaulding's picture

Dell makes a fine product. I have bought Dell computers since the 90's. I NEVER had a problem with them.

michiganmaven's picture

wow surprised by the negative votes on this one.. you did not say DELL was a good company or well run.. just it made a good computer... which I agree with but Dell is nothing more than an assembler of parts... they do not make really any components... so its more credit to intel, amd, nvidia, asus, ibm, etc... but still...

hannah's picture

dells own employees HATE dell pc/laptops.

aerojet's picture

I've used them for years in the corprate world--with a few exceptions, they are superb computers and have never let me down.  I'm typing from one right now.  The only problems I have ever had will Dells were the hinges on some of the laptops.  IBM is a close 2nd, but their laptops had issues for a few years there.  Lenovo seems to have sorted out its quality problems.

CPL's picture

I like their gear as well.

 

Latitude D series, tough laptops and very hackable with the extra wiggle room in the laptop case.  610 and 620 (Dual Core).  Batteries were build well.

Inspirion 9400/6400, tanks, easy to rebuild and fix, extensible desktop replacement.  heavy and tough chassis.  Mines been rolling for a while.  Well worth the cost retail and the three year warranty if you abuse the CPU and video in them by doing things you shouldn't.

Dell Mini's, only laptop designed by dell as a "fuck you" to apple.  You can install MacOS on it from a 15 buck OS disk, put it on a USB key and install it.  Hackintosh at 1/5th the price of the MacBook Pro (over priced, mid tier, laptop with lousy support)

Their servers, ummm, they've gotten better.  But if you own a young company and you need gear at a reasonable price with a SOLID warranty.  Dell sells some nice mid range gear.

 

Dell did bomb on the Inspirion 1525 series though.  Great insides, piece of shit case design.  Cheap and flimsy for the market price.  

Inspirion 1570 series...they could have spend more on the keyboard, it fails the "aquickbrownfoxjumpedquicklyoverthefence" test.   Battery is great in it, video is passable, peppy and runs cool.

http://www.gthreeforums.net/Thread-How-to-test-the-quality-of-your-keyboard

Chump's picture

Same story here.  When we decided to get a new laptop it was Dell all the way, no question.

Lost My Shorts's picture

I bought two Dell rack-mount 1U servers, one in 2003 and one in 2005.  Dell offered the best price for the specs I needed, and both are still humming with never a colmplaint.  My heart sinks at the thought of an LBO -- the private equity owners will stripmine and trash the company the way they always do, and the products will turn to plastic junk.  I guess no more hardware; cloud from now on.

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Why any succesful entrepenuer takes his business public is beyond me.  Having to kiss WS's ass on a daily basis ain't worth the money IMO.

gjp's picture

From washed up 'value plays' like DELL and RIMM to decidedly un-value plays like AMZN and CRM, it's all working.  Basically, Ben's got your back.  Whatever the news of the day is, it is just coincidental noise.

SheepDog-One's picture

Up a buck. Clownbuck, that is.

gatorengineer's picture

Lets see Dell Laptops are flying off the shelves... Windows 8 Desktops, well not so much..... but they have phones.... Ah no..... I think they have announced a Windows 8 Tablet (OOPs DOA)....

 

Lets see Crapple to $200 or Dell to $4 which comes first?  (Hint both will happen this year).....

astoriajoe's picture

I didn't realize they were still in business.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Good, now the corporation is only down 25% YoY.

Cursive's picture

Bull Thesis:  Stocks are dramatically undervalued!  Wall of worry!  Stock prices don't reflect actual value!  Money on the sidelines is rushing to take these "cheap" companies private!  Buy, buy, buy!  /sarc

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

You forgot....

Investors are muppets and will believe anything GS tells them!

q99x2's picture

PC sales are down. This is Earth is it not? Three dimensions plus time and all that.

Is that the same DELL that went public in the 90s? Where have I been? What a strange post.

Oh "private." I get it.

fuu's picture

Why would anyone buy a Dell, much less all of Dell?

hedgeless_horseman's picture

 

 

Exactly...especially when you can get a Gateway Computer.  I just love all their billboards with the cows.

fuu's picture

Or Newegg, Microcenter, etc.

NotApplicable's picture

Dollar repatriation?

Or viewed differently, "The People's Republic of Round Rock?"

billwilson's picture

Efficient markets ... what a quaint quaint concept. 

Agent P's picture

Dude!

(What ever happened to that guy?)

NotApplicable's picture

Busted for the evil-weed, last I saw.

Only Apple is allowed to have stoners for PR.

billwilson's picture

61 million shares short, almost 5% of float ... nice game

CvlDobd's picture

I'm unemployed now. I think I'm gonna buy a new 'puter!

juicyfruit's picture

probably desperation before going bankrupt

LongSoupLine's picture

When honesty doesn't raise stocks, swing a fucking rumor.

Fuck you wall street.

billwilson's picture

Beautifully timed .... the monkeys are good.

tawse57's picture

Sounds like desperation to me to try and prop the price up before any results due.

Their Windows 8 tablet laptop hybrid is embarassing to look at. Dells seem very expensive IMPO.

AccreditedEYE's picture

Isn't Dell kinda like Atari circa 2000?

Say What Again's picture

That chart looks like a profile shot of me this morning. 

Smuckers's picture

Maybe you'll get a box of free Twinkies when you buy a new Inspiron.

 

Seasmoke's picture

go public ????.......private ????.......ahhhh, whats the difference

IridiumRebel's picture

Buy that shit you fuckin fux!

jubber's picture

Just as Apple was about to go through $500 funny that

GFORCE's picture

Tilson was short!

hannah's picture

the fed and the primary banks are realllllly pumping these trashed stocks for the last 4mths.

buzzsaw99's picture

does this mean the pension funds will get back all their money? /sarc.

Everybodys All American's picture

anything to juice the NASDAQ.

 

sethstorm's picture

Opaqueness can't fix a company that insists on screwing over its customers - especially with their reputation for bad offshore tech support and low-quality products.

robertocarlos's picture

I bought a Dell once.

hannah's picture

too funny how we get a pop...straight to overhead resistance. and people say that T/A doesnt work...LOL!

adr's picture

Dell should go private and we should force every other fucking waste of space with a stock ticker to do the same. You say you run a successful profitable business, prove it by running the thing without the Wall Street con. Dell could once again focus on building products instead of satisfying stock traders using iPhones.