Dell's 'Go-Shop' Period Ends With No Word On Competing LBO Offers


Dell's "go-shop" deadline has passed without a formal bid being announced to top the proposed $24.4-billion deal the company had agreed to with Silver Lake Partners.

Neither Dell nor a special committee to receive offers had issued a statement regarding the close of the go-shop period as of 5:00 p.m. EST Friday. It's possible that Dell could have asked for and been granted an extension or that negotiations for an alternative bid could continue past the deadline.

In February, Dell reached an agreement to go private with a leveraged buyout at $13.65 per share through a deal with Silver Lake Partners. CEO Michael Dell was expected to include some financing himself, and Dell had reached an agreement to borrow up to $2 billion from Microsoft.

Related: Who's Who: The Key Stakeholders In Dell's $24.4B Deal To Go Private

Several companies, including The Blackstone Group, had been reported to be
mulling a serious bid to take over Dell, with rumors that Blackstone even planned to recruit Oracle President and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd if Michael Dell didn't want to stay on as Dell CEO.

The proposed deal with Silver Lake has touched off a heated response from several shareholders, including at least two major shareholders, Southeastern Asset Management and Icahn Enterprises, which combined reportedly own close to 20 percent of the company's shares.

Reuters on Friday reported that Southeastern, which opposes the Dell leveraged buyout deal, in late January actually expressed interest in joining the buyout. Dell is expected to unveil that move in a filing on Monday, Reuters reported.

Earlier this month, Icahn wrote a letter to Dell's board proposing a $9 per share special dividend and warned the board that it would face "years of litigation" challenging the proposed Silver Lake deal.

Behind the scenes, Dell CEO Michael Dell has spent time trying to allay concerns from some partners and customers. He personally called at least two solution providers to discuss what the leveraged buyout would mean to the company.

Also earlier this month, the special committee of Dell's board of directors issued a statement that the Silver Lake transaction was the best option for shareholders.

Dell shares closed at $14.14 on Friday, even with Thursday's close. However, with no word from Dell on the results of its "go-shop" period, the company's shares fell 5 cents, or 0.35 percent, in the two hours after the market closed.

Joseph F. Kovar contributed to this article.

PUBLISHED MARCH 22, 2013