Last December, Dell CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake began planning to take PC-maker Dell private.
Then, in February the deal reached seeming consummation, with Dell’s board agreeing to a $24 billion buyout.
In fact, the only threat to the deal was that another private equity, Blackstone, wanted to make Dell shareholders an even better offer.
But then PC sales figure from the first quarter came out and – WHUMP – there went interest in Dell.
Last week, Blackstone withdrew its offer, citing reports that showed PC sales were deteriorating even faster than expected
Now, there’s talk that Silver Lake may want to pull its offer too.
Bloomberg’s Peter Burrows and Jeffrey McCracken have a story out speculating that the main reason Silver Lake won’t run away from the deal is that it would have to pay a humongeous $750 million break-up fee.
Importantly, Burrows and McCracken report “Neither Silver Lake nor the banks financing the buyout — Barclays Plc, Bank of America Corp., Royal Bank of Canada and Credit Suisse Group AG — have expressed a desire to get out of the deal.”
But the fact that they bothered to write the story at all says a lot about how awful the PC business is right now.