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Dell unveils private equity buyout worth $24.4 bn

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Dell on Tuesday unveiled a plan to take the former number one computer maker private in a buyout worth $24.4 billion led by company founder Michael Dell.

"I believe this transaction will open an exciting new chapter for Dell, our customers and team members," Michael Dell said in unveiling the deal with investment firm Silver Lake, and backed by a $2 billion loan from Microsoft.

The company said it had signed "a definitive merger agreement" that gives shareholders $13.65 per share in cash -- a premium of 25 percent over Dell's closing share price on January 11, before reports of the deal were circulated.

The move, which would delist the company from stock markets, could ease some of the pressure on Dell, which is cash-rich but has been seeing profits slump.

The Texas-based computer maker, which Dell started in his college dormitory room, once topped a market capitalization of $100 billion as the world's biggest PC producer.

The plan is subject to several conditions, including a vote of unaffiliated stockholders.

It calls for a "go shop" period to allow shareholders to determine if there is a better offer.

"We can deliver immediate value to stockholders, while we continue the execution of our long-term strategy and focus on delivering best-in-class solutions to our customers as a private enterprise," Michael Dell said of the plan.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130205/dell-unveils-private-equity-buyout-worth-244-bn