The Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) buyout keeps getting more interesting. It keeps getting more convoluted as well. We have reported on the possible Dell leveraged buyout from founder and CEO Michael Dell, along with private equity group Silver Lake Partners, with mixed fanfare. Now CNBC’s David Faber has commented that he has learned that Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is interested in investing up to $3 billion for a preferred equity stake in Dell as part of the merger. 24/7 Wall St. wants to warn investors that this may not change the possible buyout premium much at all.
We have noted that Dell’s maximum implied buyout price that we can see is somewhere around $15.00 per common share. This compares to a price thrown out of about $14.00 per common share over the weekend by Barron’s. Keep in mind that Dell shares were at $12.84 as of Friday’s close, and with Friday historically being called Rumor Friday (ahead of Merger Monday), we were not exactly that pleased with a buyout on Friday.
Now shares are up at $13.12 after David Faber’s report about Microsoft throwing its hat in the ring. Microsoft has more than $60 billion in liquidity, so this is not even a line-item as far as the company is concerned. Hopefully, if Microsoft really does get involved, it can bring more assured value to Microsoft investors than its aQuantive acquisition brought.
As far as Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer coming to the rescue, it is important to remember that Microsoft once had a large stake in rival Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) when it was on its back. It is easy to see why Microsoft would want a stake here: assured sales of Windows in PCs for another generation.
This is an interesting development, but it this likely only assures more secured financing rather than financing a much higher buyout price.