Michael Dell kicked off the Dell World conference by telling channel partners and the press in attendance that his company was “stronger” as a private entity. According to one report, taking the company private also provided a nearly triple-digit return on investment for Dell and his investment partners.
According to a report by Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter, Dell and Silver Lake Asset Management have made a return of approximately 90% on their initial investment of $24.9 billion. Personally, Dell put in $4.2 billion of his own money while Silver Lake invested $1.4 billion. The rest came from company cash. The value of the equity Dell and Silver Lake hold is now reportedly $10.8 billion — a big return on the $5.6 billion the two put in.
Partially this massive return is based on sheer luck. Dell’s turnaround coincided with a resurgence of the PC market as a whole. PC sales are up year-over-year and Dell has used this to increase its market share to 13.3% from the 11.9% it was a year ago.
However, the deal to go private almost never happened. Activist investor Carl Ichan said what Dell and Silver Lake offered to investors was far too low and threatened to launch a lawsuit to block the deal from going through.