Dell Bidding War: BlackStone vs Silver Lake Partners?

Will BlackStone bid to buy Dell, topping an offer from Silver Lake Partners and Michael Dell? The go shop period ends March 22. Here's what partners need to know.

The VAR Guy

March 19, 2013

2 Min Read
Dell Bidding War: BlackStone vs Silver Lake Partners?

Blackstone could emerge with a last-minute bid to buy Dell (NASDAQ: DELL). The PC giant’s current plan is to sell itself to Silver Lake Partners and Michael Dell. But Blackstone, another private equity firm, could deliver a bid before Dell’s go shop period ends March 22. Does this mean more uncertainty for channel partners? Yes and no. Here’s why.

First, the uncertainty: Who will own Dell — the company?

The VAR Guy is betting that Silver Lake and Michael Dell ultimately emerge as the PC giant’s new owners. Perhaps Silver Lake and Mr. Dell will need to raise their bid a bit to beat any potential offer from Blackstone. But here’s the thing:

  • There’s no guarantee that Blackstone will actually make a bid, though Bloomberg suggested such a move is possible.

  • Any takeover offer that doesn’t include Michael Dell leading the company seems somewhat unlikely, The VAR Guy thinks.

Now, for some peace of mind — so what does all that mean for channel partners? The VAR Guy’s short answer: Stay the course. Both Michael Dell and Channel Chief Greg Davis have assured VARs that the PartnerDirect program commitment remains in place.

Some shareholders object to the proposed private equity deal involving Silver Lake and Michael Dell. Activist investor Carl Icahn earlier this month reached a confidentiality agreement, which allows him to look at Dell’s books. Still, there’s no guarantee Icahn will submit a bid. The same is true for Blackstone.

Sit tight, partners. The go shop period wraps up this Friday, March 22. Answers should emerge shortly thereafter.

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