As Dell looks to go private, what's its value?

Founder Michael Dell looks to take his company private. The deadline for competing bids is today.

Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell, wants to take the company private. He put together a buyout deal with Silver Lake Partners, a private-equity firm. His goal is to restructure the company he started as a teenager.

“This is an organization that I think needs to be taken down to the studs, products need to be taken down to bare metal and re-imagined, so that it can remain competitive,” says Chris Silva, an industry analyst with the Altimeter group.

Dell has been its CEO for the last six years, as computing has moved from the personal computers that made the company famous to smart phones and tablets. He is making the case that the company he has led needs to move in a new direction, and Dell is the man to take it there.

According to Silva, “It’s a tricky situation.”

That seems especially true as some shareholders complain Dell’s bid of $13.65 a share undervalues the company.

Jayson Noland, an analyst with R.W. Baird, says he suspects this isn’t about money for Michael Dell, so much as it’s about pride.

“Ultimately, we expect to see this deal get done at or above the current offer price, with the current players," says Noland.

According to Noland, the company has been making progress. It has gotten into servers, storage and network software. Dell is worth something, he argues. After all, it’s created all this buzz.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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