On Thursday morning, the shareholders of Dell Inc. will help decide what the future might look like for the largest private employer in Central Texas.
They will vote their shares for or against the proposed $24.4 billion buyout of the company by founder and CEO Michael Dell and his financial ally, Silver Lake Partners of California.
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Michael Dell, founder and CEO, Dell Inc.
What he brings to the table: The company founder’s has a plan for remaking the company and has the financial clout and reputation to make the buyout deal happen.
What’s his next move: If shareholders approve his buyout offer, Michael Dell is expected to reshape the company, making it less dependent on sales of personal computers. If they say no, it’s unclear how long he’d remain as leader of the company he founded.
Odds shareholders will pick him: Analysts say they expect shareholder to say yes to Michael Dell’s bid, because there is little confidence the company’s share price will go up significantly if it remains publicly traded.
Carl Icahn, billionaire investor
What he brings to the table: Icahn’s history of successful corporate takeovers — and his $20 billion personal fortune — could give him credibility with some investors who think the Michael Dell offer undervalues their share price.
What’s his next move: If shareholders approve the Michael Dell offer, Icahn would have few remaining Dell-related options. If the Michael Dell buyout offer fails, Icahn could formalize his stated plan for taking control of the company.
Odds his plan will win out: Most analysts say Icahn’s plans are a long shot. Because he hasn’t made a formal offer, there are still many unknowns about his plan. And his reputation as a corporate raider could make investors nervous about what direction he’d take the company.
American-Statesman reporter Kirk Ladendorf has more than three decades of experience covering the area’s tech companies and trends. He has kept you in the loop on the twists and turns around the potential Dell Inc. buyout deal since word first surfaced last year that plans were in the works to possibly take the company private.