Dell Inc founder and CEO Michael Dell met with private equity firms
Blackstone Group LP and Francisco Partners during the computer maker's
"go-shop" period, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday.
meetings, which took place on March 7 and 8, will be disclosed in
Dell's proxy statement on Friday and indicate Blackstone explored early
on the possibility of keeping Michael Dell as CEO in a bid to take over
the company, the person said on condition of anonymity because the
information was not yet public.
Michael Dell also met this week
with Blackstone's senior managing directors Dave Johnson and Chinh Chu,
although the outcome of these discussions has yet to become clear, the
Blackstone and Dell declined to comment.
company set up a special committee to evaluate all options for the
world's No. 3 PC maker, a move to placate concerns over potential
conflicts of interest facing Michael Dell. The CEO owns 15.7 percent of
the company he started in 1984 out of his college dorm room with $1,000.
a 45-day go-shop period that expired last week, Dell received two
alternative preliminary takeover offers that sought to top a $24.4
billion deal Dell had reached with its founder and buyout firm Silver
Lake to go private.
One offer was from Blackstone, Francisco and
Insight Venture Management and the other was from billionaire Carl
Icahn, who has amassed a roughly $1 billion stake in the Round Rock,
Icahn has proposed paying $15 per share for
58 percent of Dell. Blackstone has indicated it can pay more than $14.25
per share for the whole of the company, all in cash or partly in
shares, thereby also leaving Dell as a publicly listed company. Silver
Lake's $13.65 per share all-cash offer would see Dell go private.
said on Monday that Blackstone's and Icahn's proposals could reasonably
be expected to result in superior offers, and that it would continue
negotiations with both parties to secure superior bids that are binding
Michael Dell has expressed concerns that
Blackstone's offer would dismantle the PC maker he founded in 1984, two
people close to Michael Dell familiar with the matter have previously
The founder is worried that the buyout firm's plans
would be inconsistent with his strategy to reinvest in the company, the
Blackstone has already made an unsuccessful push to
recruit Oracle Corp President Mark Hurd to run Dell if it takes over the
company, one source familiar with the situation said last week. (Also see: Dell takeover battle: All you need to know)
© Thomson Reuters 2013