Dell faces bidding war with rumoured rival offer

Founder's backers face competition from equity firm

Stewart Mitchell
19 Mar 2013

The consortium of investors – including Microsoft – that's planning to buy Dell could face competition from at least one other major investor, as the deadline for a deal gets closer.

According to sources cited by Bloomberg, Blackstone – a New York private equity company - is mulling a bid to rival the $24 billion package put together by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management.

Dell's board has a deadline of 22 March for receiving other offers, and the emergence of another bidder could force Silver Lake to increase its offer.

The offer comes amid tense negotiations, with some shareholders seeking more money than is currently on the table, but whether an outside bidder can see value in the company when going up against CEO and founder Michael Dell remains to be seen, especially in an uncertain PC market.

"It’s very hard to put a value on a business that’s in structural decline," said Anand Srinivasan, an analyst at Bloomberg Industries. "How are you going to make money? Going private is all about how much value you can create."

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