Hurd Declines Dell CEO Job As Blackstone, Icahn Make Bids

Starting to look a bit like the Alamo, isn’t it?

Oracle president Mark Hurd shot down rumors that he might be asked to replace Michael Dell as chief executive of Dell Inc., telling reporters that he has no interest in the job.

Dell Inc. received two more buyout offers March 26: billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn made an offer for the company at $15 per share—well above the $13.65 per share that founder and chief executive Michael Dell originally offered with his partner, Silver Lake, to take the company private. In a separate bid, Blackstone Group offered a premium $14.25 per share. Dell Inc. said it considered both proposals superior to Michael Dell’s own, part of the “go-shop” process that allowed other bids.

Part of the speculation surrounding Dell’s future concerned Hurd, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, who left the company in 2010 after a scandal regarding a female contractor. He was quickly snapped up by Oracle Corp., where he has served as co-president ever since.  Blackstone had reportedly approached Hurd to run the company.

But Hurd turned down the offer, according to the San Jose Mercury News. “’I am at Oracle and I am very happy at Oracle,’ No interest,” he said, according to an Oracle spokeswoman quoted by the newspaper.

Under the terms of the Silver Lake deal, Michael Dell would remain as chief executive. Back in February, Dell and his partners offered to buy his company’s outstanding shares at a 25 percent premium over Dell’s closing price on Jan. 11, right before the rumors of Dell going private began to gain steam.

Dell published the Blackstone bid as well as the more complex Icahn proposal, which would see Icahn and his interests own 24.1 percent of the surviving company. “We are gratified by the success of our go-shop process that has yielded two alternative proposals with the potential to create additional value for Dell shareholders,” Dell Inc. said in a statement. “We intend to work diligently with all three potential acquirers to ensure the best possible outcome for Dell shareholders, whichever transaction that may be.”

Dell reported $702 million in net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 on revenue of $14.3 billion; for the fiscal year, it reported $3.02 billion in profits, and $56.9 billion in revenue.

As Bloomberg reported, it’s rare for one private capital firm to try and oust another. Dell will apparently go forward as a business—but will Michael Dell be running it?

 

Image: Dell

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