Bloomberg broke the news that the struggling hardware company is talking to banks and private equity firms about possibly going private.
In Q3, it missed analyst estimates that it would generate $13.9 billion in revenue, coming in at $13.7 billion. According to Gartner, PC sales were down 5% over the holidays.
So how would the doctors of Wall Street deal with this patient? To buy the company from shareholders, they would do a standard private equity leveraged buyout — a deal in which the purchasing price of a company is financed by equity and debt.
Industry folks told Business Insider that the deal would likely require two big players in the private equity space (Think: KKR, Blackstone, TPG) going in on the deal together — a “club deal.”
What PE investors see when they look at Dell is a cheap company with $11 billion in cash and good cash flow.
“The question is ‘how fast is the decline?'” one analyst told Business Insider. “People aren’t buying PCs anymore… You would need to write a $5 billion equity check.”
That check would lever the company 4 times and puts the purchasing price at $13.00 per share (it’s currently trading at $12.60).
Michael Dell owns 16% of the company, and that could make the deal easier for PE firms, but currently the company is levered 2x — it’s holding some debt that would require refinancing — so the deal would need to include that.
“It’s a stable business with great cash flow… would de-lever pretty quickly,” the analyst continued. “Plus PE firms bring leaner management and operations so you could cut costs. I think someone would buy it and spin it out into two divisions. A lot of companies like Oracle and Cisco could want the server and storage business. Maybe Microsoft wants the PC business.”
In short, start your engines.
And below, check out the quick maths a PE analyst did for Business Insider: