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Posted Date: 3/20/2013

T-Minus Two Days to Bid on Dell

By George L. Koroneos

If you are interested in buying Dell, you've got two days left to make a bid. Rumors are swirling that Lenovo, HP and The Blackstone Group might throw their names in the hat and compete with the $24.4 billion offer made by Michael Dell and Silver Lake a month and a half ago.

Businessweek, citing an unnamed source, reported that Blackstone, a private-equity firm, is seriously considering bidding on the third largest PC manufacturer as part of a group bid with other investors. Whether or not Blackstone has enough cash to beat out Michael Dell remains to seen, but at the very least, bidding could boost the price beyond the $13.65 per share offered in February.

“We had doubts that HP or Lenovo were actually interested in making a bid for Dell but are taking advantage of the opportunity to review Dell’s books. However, we felt that Blackstone Group’s interest could be more genuine and this appears to be the case,” Topeka Capital's Brain White told Forbes. “We continue to believe an $18 buyout price for Dell makes sense.”

After Michael Dell's offer was made public, Dell's board of directors opened itself up to a 45-day go-shop to see if any other suitors would materialize. During that time, a number of investors have complained that Michael Dell's offer was significantly lower than it should have been. Forbes stated that Carl Icahn (rumored to own 100 million shares) has asked for the formation of a special committee to review other options.

In the meantime, solution providers and ISVs continue to wait and see what will happen when the smoke clears. Unlike HP, which considered shedding it's PC groups in favor of more lucrative offerings (BI, managed services), Dell doesn't have many other options available to it. While it's possible that Dell might streamline its product offerings, its doubtful that it will make sweeping changes to its partner program in the near future.

If you are a Dell reseller and want to share your thoughts, email me at gkoroneos@edgellmail.com.

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