2. Dell's Drama
We honestly thought the Dell (DELL) buyout drama couldn't get any nuttier after our old friend Carl Icahn entered the fray.
Oh, how wrong we were!
The PC-maker's CEO Michael Dell sent a personal memo to rally his employees and detail his vision of the company's future Monday. Since Michael is currently trying to take his company private with Silver Lake Management in a $24.4 billion deal, or $13.65 a share, the missive was filed with the SEC for the entire world to peruse."I am more energized for the future of Dell than ever. Together, we have built an amazing company and our best days are still ahead," wrote Michael Dell to his troops. Of course, anybody taking the time to review the entire letter will wonder why a CEO with such a rosy outlook would be so quick to buy it below its current market value of $14.26. In fact, we can only imagine that Blackstone (BX) and Icahn, who placed respective bids of $14.25 and $15 for the company, would use Dell's letter as "Exhibit A" for their higher priced offers. Then again, nobody knows if these counterproposals are real or simply a ploy by Dell's management to prove they are actually shopping the company, as opposed to stealing it out from under its shareholders. Icahn, for example, most likely wants to run Dell as much as he wanted to run Yahoo! (YHOO) when he bought into Microsoft's (MSFT) failed bid for that company five years ago. Put simply: not a smidgen. Carl was chattering about a special $9 dividend last month, so he could simply be angling for some greenmail to go away, as is his wont. As for Blackstone, well, even if Michael stays on in the wake of the private equity shop buying the company, Dell employees would be smart to quickly put down his letter and pick up their resumes. Try as Michael might to protect them, those employees will be canned like sardines as Blackstone chops that company to bits and soaks up special dividends, as is its wont. "We see a lot of new work that needs to be done, but also an extraordinary long-term opportunity if we get it right," cheered Michael Dell on Monday. Quite honestly, we still don't understand why Michael can't do all these "extraordinary" things as a public company. Is it that difficult to report quarterly results to shareholders and keep the government abreast of what you are doing? Judging by Michael's less than memorable memo, it doesn't seem to be much of a bother at all.
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