Advisory firm backs Dell buyout deal

July 8, 2013 at 3:42 PM

ROUND ROCK, Texas, July 8 (UPI) -- An influential shareholder advisory firm Monday threw its weight behind Michael Dell's offer to take U.S. technology giant Dell Inc. private.

Michael Dell founded the company 29 years ago and helped guide it to becoming one of the largest personal computer companies in the world. But consumers have recently been focused on mobile devices, sending the personal computer business into decline.

Dell has made a $24.4 billion offer to take the company private, which he has said is necessary to turn the company around as it develops new products in order to remain profitable.

After the offer was made, the company's board considered other options before deciding to put Michael Dell's offer up to a shareholder vote.

On Monday, Institutional Shareholder Services, a proxy advisory firm, said it recommended shareholders vote for the $24.4 billion leveraged buyout.

The New York Times reported Dell's offer, which includes help from investment firm Silver Lake, amounts to $13.65 a share.

ISS put its position in a dramatic perspective. "From a public company shareholder's perspective, if your chief executive officer is willing to buy your falling knife for the privilege of catching it, there is probably a price at which you should let him."

"The risk may be less that he's taking all the upside for himself than that he is trying to catch a falling knife," ISS wrote.

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