Dell Jumps 3% With 3 Offers on the Table


Shares of PC giant Dell are enjoying a nice Monday to start the week, having gained as much as 3.5% on news that the company has received two alternative acquisition proposals in addition to the $13.65 per-share offer already on the table from founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. A special committee of Dell's board announced that it has garnered the additional offers during its "go shop" period provided in the initial merger agreement.

Shareholders are optimistic about the outcome of a potential bidding war, particularly after other analysts expressed doubts that Dell would fetch higher rival bids. Blackstone and Carl Icahn are the potentially interested parties, and each offer is structured differently.

Blackstone is proposing a leveraged recapitalization that includes offering $14.25 per share in cash to investors willing to tender their shares while also allowing other shareholders to remain invested in order to participate in future upside. Blackstone notes that its deal is beneficial for shareholders because it's higher than Michael Dell's initial proposal and offers current shareholders more choices. Morgan Stanley would be Blackstone's lead debt-financing source.

Carl Icahn's offer is for up to $15.65 in cash per share and would entail $5 billion in equity financed by cash. One of the potential benefits of Icahn's proposal is that the transaction would be less leveraged than the initial deal with Michael Dell, reducing the associated financial risk borne by remaining shareholders.

The special committee makes it clear that while it believes these proposals are superior, it hasn't made a final decision and continues to review all of its options. As such, the special committee hasn't changed its official recommendation regarding Michael Dell's initial proposal.

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White is increasingly optimistic, though, and he believes the end result of the bidding war will be an $18 per-share buyout offer. White doesn't think this will happen after the first round of bidding, but he thinks that price "makes sense." It's no wonder Dell investors are cheering the news amid a down day in the broader market.

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