Dell tries one last time to explain why a private Dell is the company’s best chance of success
Dell has struggled to maintain market share against the emerging flood of low cost mobile devices, and CEO Michael Dell wants shareholders to know that he alone holds the key to saving the company he founded. In a June 21st presentation to investors, Dell laid out what he believes will be the company’s only chance of long-term success. Not surprisingly, it includes a pretty heavy shift from consumers to the enterprise, a plan that he claims is in jeopardy if the company remains public.
Blames ‘uncertain’ Windows 8 adoption and ‘unexpected’ decline in Windows 7 enterprise upgrades
Beleaguered PC vendor Dell has recently been in the news mainly for CEO Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners’ $24.4 billion ($13.65 per share) buyout offer and all the attendant drama. On Friday, came the latest chapter in the Dell buyout saga as the company filed a 274-page preliminary proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
A group of key shareholders stand a fighting chance of derailing Michael Dell’s ambitions to take the company he founded private.
The possibility of a privately held Dell has sparked our imagination, and also left us scratching our heads. As one of the leading PC OEM’s of our generation Dell has had a profound impact on personal computing, however, they also have a long history of failure that shouldn’t be forgotten. The big question facing Dell shareholders today is what the company’s long term prospects are, and if a $24.4 billion buyout offer by Michael Dell and his consortium is in their best interest.
On the surface, Netflix’s recent stumblings could lead one to believe that CEO Reed Hastings has taken a swig of HP CEO Leo Apotheker’s crazy juice. Raising prices? Splitting off the DVD business? What kind of craziness is that? Today, one analyst issued a note saying that rather than being the crazy kind of crazy, Netflix’s moves may instead be a more sneaky and clever kind of crazy, intended to make the video service a juicy acquisition target for Amazon.
And that was that. In one fell, $750 million dollar swoop, EA gobbled up PopCap. To most, it was just another day in gaming's primordial ooze of a business sector – where everyone devours everyone else in a bitter bid for survival. Slip on your gamervision glasses, however, and you'll see a different story altogether. “Battlefield 3, Need for Speed publisher acquires folks behind Peggle, Plants vs Zombies.” Sorry, what? Let us wash the crazy out of our ears. PopCap, however, insists that it leaped into the belly of the beast quite willingly.
What was Jeremy Stoppleman, the CEO of Yelp, thinking when he turned his back on a half-billion dollar acquisition of his company to Google? That's the question everyone is asking, but no one seems to have an answer for.
Just before the weekend, the acquisition appeared to be a done deal. The two companies had come to terms on a price in the vicinity of $550 million plus earnouts, leaving only the final details to be hammered out. And then something went wrong. Citing multiple anonymous sources, TechCrunch says that Stoppleman and company notified Google over the weekend that Yelp would remain independent.
As far as we know, there's no other company looking to acquire Yelp who could have made a bigger offer, and for $550 million, it's hard to believe that Yelp developed a case of cold feet. Instead, TechCrunch surmises that Apple, Microsoft, or some other industry bigwig came forward with a strategic deal tantalizing enough that Stoppleman would walk away from such a lucrative buyout offer.
Have your grains of salt at the ready, people, because this one’s a doozy. According to a bit of Wall Street chatter, Microsoft’s got its sights set on none other than gaming giant Electronic Arts.
“There’s talk that Microsoft might be interested in acquiring Electronic Arts,”said Frederic Ruffy, options strategist at WhatsTrading.com. “It’s unsubstantiated chatter, but it’s out there.”
As such, analyst Trip Chowdhry is cautioning investors from counting their chickens before they’ve hatched, and is preemptively declaring this rumor hogwash.
"Our contacts just don't see Microsoft buying Electronic Arts, no synergies whatsoever, and also not Microsoft's corporate primary focus right now," Chowdhry told Reuters.
Shame, that. We were hoping to see Faith from Mirror’s Edge leaping improbable distances with Master Chief. Or maybe a scrimmage between the Cogs and Locusts from Gears of War in Madden? You know, Mutant League Football style?
Sun Microsystems turned a cold shoulder to IBM's formal acquisition offer this weekend, noting that the $7 billion bid was not enough, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. The window of opportunity might be closing for IBM if it's serious about a buyout, as Sun went on to mention it will no longer negotiate exclusively with IBM.
It was reported last month that IBM offered a little less than $10 per share, or nearly double what Sun's stock had been trading at, valuing the deal at close to $7 billion. If completed, IBM and Sun would have accounted for about 65 percent of the market for server computers running Unix and 42 percent of the total server market.
"It's obvious this deal will get a second request (for mor information) from regulators. And once it does, it'll take six months, at a minimum, to a year before a decision is reached," said one attorney who specialized in antitrust matters. "Sun can be twisting in the wind for a year."
It's unclear whether or not Sun would entertain another offer from IBM, or if IBM plans to make another one.
We can already hear the moans and groans, but nevertheless, a Yahoo investor has proposed a new deal today to sell the search company to Microsoft for $22 a share. That figure represents a 74 percent premium on the company's current stock price.
The proposal calls for Microsoft to "unload Yahoo's Asian assets and non-search businesses, extract $3 billion worth of cost savings, and receive $2.8 billion of tax benefits," Reuters reports. All tallied up, the deal would have Microsoft paying $10.3 billion for Yahoo's search business.
Mithras Capital, the investment fund who came up with the proposal, owns a 14 percent stake in Yahoo (1.9 million shares) and said in a press release that if approved, Microsoft would be buying Yahoo's search business for $2 billion less than what it offered in July.
Whether or not anything comes out of this remains to be seen, but it's worth noting that Yahoo today fell into the $12 per share range for the first time.
When you do something really well in the corporate world, it’s often easier for a bigger company to just acquire you, rather than try to out do you. Just look at Alienware and Dell or Voodoo and HP. Now, Logitech has acquired Ultimate Ears for $34 million in cash.
Ultimate Ears has a loyal following of touring musicians, sound engineers and mainstream music lovers. An estimated 75 percent of today’s touring rock musicians now use the Ultimate Ears custom-fit in-ear monitor while performing. Pricing for the company’s consumer products begins around $40, while pricing for custom products can be as much as $1200.
“Ultimate Ears is a perfect fit for Logitech and our audio business,” said Gerald P. Quindlen, Logitech president and chief executive officer. “Since its inception, Ultimate Ears has been driven by innovation, close ties to its customers, and the desire to enable an immersive audio experience. Logitech’s success has been built on using a deep understanding of our customers to create innovative products that let people immerse themselves in their pursuits – whether they are listening to music, gaming, watching a video or otherwise enjoying their digital lifestyle. We look forward to using our worldwide distribution network and operational efficiencies to help more people discover this superior listening experience.”
We can hope that they adapt some of Ultimate Ears technology into some really great headsets for computers too!