Michael Dell Takes Advice He’d Given Steve Jobs: Gives Money Back to Shareholders, Takes Company Private


Dell_LogoBack in 1997, Dell CEO Michael Dell had commented on Apple’s troubled situation saying that Steve Jobs should shut down the company and “give the money back to the shareholders.” In an announcement made by Dell today, CEO Michael Dell seems to have followed some portion of that advice himself.

The company today announced that it’s going private in a $24.4 billion deal led by investment firm Silver Lake, paying shareholders $13.65 per share, which is 25 percent more than the company’s stock price before rumors of the buyout emerged.

A partner in the buyout is Microsoft, who will be loaning $2 billion to the buyers’ consortium that is taking Dell private. CEO Michael Dell is also contributing to the buyout through his 14 percent stake in the company and his investment firm MSD Capital.

The overall decline of the PC industry and tough competition from the iPad forced Dell to reposition itself as a company catering the enterprise market rather than the consumer market. The company’s attempt at entering the smartphone industry didn’t go quite well either.

Some fun facts:

  • When Michael Dell made his “Steve Jobs should shut down Apple” comment in ’97, Dell’s market cap was $33.05 billion as compared to Apple’s $2.73 billion market cap.
  • Today, and Dell’s valuation is $24.4 billion as compared to Apple’s market cap of $423.68 billion.

To be fair to Michael Dell, he had said that his 1997 comment was “misconstrued”:

“The meaning of my answer was that I’m the CEO of Dell, I don’t think about being the CEO of any other company, I’m not a CEO for hire, so if you asked me what I’d do for any other company, it’s not really something I think about.”


“I have tremendous respect for Apple. Obviously Steve will be missed and was a friend.” He described meeting Apple co-founder Steve Jobs at a Houston Apple user group when he was 16 years old, where Dell was in attendance with his Apple II.”

Tell us what you think about Dell’s decision to go private in the comments below.

Via: NYT

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