A Dell computer logo is seen on a laptop

Dell to go private in $24.4 billion deal

Computer maker Dell will go private in a $24.4 billion deal that also involves Microsoft and private equity firm Silver Lake.

Company founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake are paying $13.65 per share in cash for the world's No. 3 computer maker.

The deal is being financed by cash and equity from Michael Dell, cash from Silver Lake, cash from Michael Dell's investment firm MSD Capital, a $2 billion loan from Microsoft and debt financing from four banks.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the second quarter of Dell's fiscal 2014.

News of the buyout talks first emerged on Jan. 14, although they were reported to have started in the latter part of 2012. 

Michael Dell had previously acknowledged thinking about going private as far back as 2010.

The $13.65-per-share price is a premium of about 24 percent to the average of $11 price at which Dell stock traded before news of the deal talks broke and is far below the $17.61 that the shares were trading for a year ago.

Dell has steadily ceded market share in PCs to nimbler rivals such as Lenovo and is struggling to re-ignite growth.

That is in spite of Michael Dell's efforts in the five years since he retook the helm of the company he founded in 1984, following a brief hiatus during which its fortunes waned.

"This is an opportunity for Michael Dell to be a little more flexible managing the company," said FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi.

"That doesn't take away from the fact they will have challenges in the PC market like they did before."

Dell Chief Financial Officer Brain Gladden said the company's strategy would "generally remain the same" after the deal closed, while acknowledging a turnaround would take more time and require further investment.

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