Microsoft Joins Efforts to Take Dell Private: Reports
Microsoft officials are willing to put in as much as $3 billion toward a leveraged buyout of Dell, which would become a private company again.Microsoft reportedly is joining the effort to buy Dell and take the company private, a move designed to help jump-start the struggling PC maker's efforts to transform its business. Executives with the software giant are in talks with officials from Dell and Silver Lake partners—one of the private equity firms that was initially named last week in news reports about Dell going private after more than two dozen years as a public company—to invest billions of dollars as part of a leveraged buyout of Dell, according to reports by The Wall Street Journal and CNBC. Microsoft officials have not made a final decision about whether to invest in Dell, according to the Journal. However, CNBC reported that the company could invest $1 billion to $3 billion, and that a deal is expected to be reach by the end of the week. A special committee for Dell shareholders is part of the negotiations, according to CNBC. Spokespeople for both companies have declined to comment to the media on the reports.
Microsoft investing in Dell would make sense, given the historically close ties between the two tech giants and their shared mutual interest in returning the global PC market to health. Dell, like other tech vendors with tight ties to the PC market—such as chip makers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices and Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest PC maker—has been impacted by the relatively sudden and steep slowdown in PC sales in recent quarters, as consumer interest shifts sharply to mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets.