NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Shareholders on Thursday approved private equity firm Silver Lake and founder Michael Dell's LBO of his eponymous Texas PC maker. Dell (DELL) will soon go private, for about $25 billion, after about 25 years on the public markets."I am pleased with this outcome and am energized to continue building Dell into the industry's leading provider of scalable, end-to-end technology solutions," said Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell, in a statement. "As a private enterprise, with a strong private-equity partner, we'll serve our customers with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help them achieve their goals." A statement from the company said the deal's total value, including the $13.75 share price and special dividend of 13 cents a share, is $24.9 billion. The deal's likely success solidified Monday, when activist investor Carl Icahn bowed out of the bidding for Dell, acknowledging it would be nearly "impossible" for him to win, he said earlier in the week. The company has been shopping a $5.5 billion loan for the transaction, which sources said is "covenant-lite" and anticipated to complete in October. Even in spite of the length of time it took to complete the transaction, it appears as if Dell and Silver Lake were capable of accessing capital at a low rate and on friendly terms, in advance of any decision by the Federal Reserve to taper its asset buying, which could impact the debt markets. The deal has been on hold for months as Icahn, joined by investment firm Southeastern Asset Managemennt Inc., and the founder-sponsor team sparred with one another, issuing rhetoric about whether or not the company could succeed as a public entity. Icahn, however, achieved one thing, the original $13.65 per share price was nudged up to its present value. And there is a possiblity the deal price could go higher slightly higher. Despite Icahn bowing out of a control deal for Dell, in which he sought to complete a leveraged recapitalization that would have left a portion of the company as a public entity, the investor continues to pursue a court-mandated appraisal of Dell's stock.
Dell has faced falling earnings as the PC market struggles against tablets' rising popularity and as manufacturers including Google ( GOOG) and Apple ( AAPL) are gaining a growing percentage of consumer market share. The company's struggles have been compounded by difficulties in services markets, where cloud-based offerings from other competitors, including Amazon, are taking hold with enterprise clients. -- Written by Jonathan Marino in New York