Dell chief executive Michael Dell has regained the advantage in a lengthy battle to buy the slumping personal-computer maker he founded nearly 30 years ago. He did it by persuading the company’s board to accept a slightly better offer that adds a one-time dividend in exchange for a pivotal change in how shareholders will vote on the deal.
The latest twist in the six-month saga emerged Friday shortly before Dell was scheduled to hold a shareholder vote on the company’s proposed sale to Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners for $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share.
The deal to buy out the company appeared destined to fail at that price, which had been criticized by a throng of rebellious shareholders led by billionaire Carl Icahn and longtime company shareholder Southeastern Asset Management. The vote already had been delayed twice as Michael Dell’s group tried to rally support.
On Friday, Icahn said “the war regarding Dell is far from over.”
Last week, Michael Dell and Silver Lake submitted a higher bid of $24.6 billion, or $13.75 per share, but conditioned that on the company’s board revising the voting rules to make passage easier. The board rejected that.
Faced with almost certain defeat on the lower bid price, Michael Dell and Silver Lake struck a new agreement Friday that further sweetened the bid. The new offer was enough to get the board to reconsider and grant the buyers’ request for a crucial revision in the voting rules.
The new arrangement with Michael Dell and Silver Lake pegs the sale price at $13.75 per share, the same amount offered last week, but stockholders also will receive a special dividend of
13 cents per share under the new arrangement. That would cost about $230 million, based on Dell’s outstanding stock of
1.76 billion shares.
Dell called Friday’s meeting to order and quickly adjourned it without a vote. With the third postponement, the vote is now scheduled for Sept. 12.
— Associated Press
l Facebook’s resurgent stock has closed above its IPO price for the first time since the online social networking leader made its debut on Wall Street more than 14 months ago. The shares gained 56 cents to finish Friday’s session at $38.05. That is the stock’s highest closing price since it ended its first day of trading at $38.23 in May of last year. Facebook priced its initial public offering at $38 per share.
l Chevron’s latest quarterly profit was huge — $5.37 billion — but down 26 percent from last year because of lower oil prices, less production and maintenance work at some refineries. The results, reported Friday, mirrored lower profits at Exxon Mobil and Shell, and they also lagged Wall Street expectations. Chevron’s profit worked out to $2.77 per share, down from $3.66 per share a year ago. Analysts were expecting $2.97 per share, according to FactSet. Revenue fell 8 percent to $57.37 billion but came in higher than the $56.01 billion analysts expected. Chevron shares fell $1.49, or 1.2 percent, to $124.95.
l Berkshire Hathaway’s second-quarter profit jumped 46 percent as Warren Buffett’s company reported big paper gains on the value of its investments and derivative contracts. On Friday, Berkshire reported net income of $4.54 billion, or $2,763 per
Class A share. That’s up from
$3.1 billion, or $1,882 per Class A share, last year. The biggest factor behind the big swing in earnings was the estimated value of Berkshire’s investments and derivatives. This year, those were worth $622 million. Last year, Berkshire recorded a $612 million paper loss on those.
l Yahoo has acquired Rockmelt, a Silicon Valley start-up that built a Web browser tied to Facebook’s social network. Terms of the deal announced Friday weren’t disclosed. It is the 20th acquisition Yahoo has completed since Marissa Mayer became the Sunnyvale, Calif., company’s chief executive nearly 13 months ago. Rockmelt unveiled its Facebook-
focused Web browser in late 2010, but it never gained traction. The Mountain View, Calif., start-up later introduced a version for smartphones and tablets.
— From news services
l In Sunday Business: The rise of Promontory, a law firm that Washington built.
l On Monday: Institute for Supply Management’s non-
manufacturing index for July released at 10 a.m.