Michael Dell May Get 50 Percent Return From Buyout, Southeastern Says

Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 06:00 AM


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Dell Inc. Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell may generate an annualized return of more than 50 percent on his investment if he succeeds in taking the computer maker private, an investor opposed to the deal said.

The CEO could realize an annualized return of as much as 50.1 percent during the next four to five years and Silver Lake Management LLC, his partner, could earn as much as 44.7 percent annually over the same period, Southeastern Asset Management Inc. said in a presentation filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Those rates of return are higher than shareholders could achieve under the terms of the leveraged buyout, whereby Dell and Silver Lake have agreed to pay stockholders $13.65 a share, Southeastern said in the presentation. It held about 4.1 percent of Dell stock, as of June 18, according to Bloomberg data.

“The board could have done more, much more, to afford stockholders an opportunity to achieve the very same gains now pursued by Michael Dell and Silver Lake,” said the Memphis, Tennessee-based firm, run by O. Mason Hawkins and Staley Cates.

Southeastern is teaming with billionaire financier Carl Icahn to oppose Michael Dell and Silver Lake’s $24.4 billion buyout ahead of a vote at a special meeting set for July 18 at Dell’s Round Rock, Texas headquarters. Icahn, seeking a bigger payout for shareholders, is proposing a deal that asks Dell to tender 1.1 billion shares at $14 apiece and which would retain the company’s public listing.

Buyout Offer

Icahn and Southeastern view Dell’s buyout offer as being at a “substantially undervalued” price, the investor said in the presentation. Hawkins made similar arguments in a letter to Dell shareholders filed with the SEC yesterday.

Evercore Partners Inc., the advisory firm hired by Dell, estimated the investment returns for Michael Dell and Silver Lake, based on projections by Boston Consulting Group Inc., Southeastern said. Dell plans to invest his 15.6 percent stake in the company and an additional $750 million in cash to take the company private.

Dell and Silver Lake’s offer represents a premium of 25 percent over the computer makers’s closing share price of $10.88 on Jan. 11, the last trading day before news of a deal was first reported.

A spokesman for the special committee of Dell’s board handling the merger agreement wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Dell rose less than 1 percent to $13.39 at 3:30 p.m. in New York. The stock has gained 33 percent this year through yesterday compared with a 12 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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