Silver Lake is rumoured to be edging closer to wrapping up a buyout of Dell, with reports suggesting the private equity house has lined up $15bn of funding.
According to a Bloomberg story, the investment outfit is close to cementing deals with lenders including Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays and Bank of America. Citing "people familiar with the matter", the article suggests terms may be revealed to "a small group of possible buyers of the bridge loan" today.
Bloomberg estimates Dell's enterprise value at $19.7bn (£12.3bn), and that a buyout could be formally announced as soon as next week.
Rumours that Dell was in buyout talks with Silver Lake and TPG Capital emerged earlier this week. The Texan vendor has been publicly listed since 1988, when it made its initial public offering four years after being founded by university student Michael Dell.
Silver Lake and TPG will already be familiar names to many in the channel, having led a buyout of Avaya in 2007.
In an editorial post by Larry Walsh (pictured, below right), chief executive of ChannelWeb's US partner 2112 Group, he argues that the "stealth and speed" afforded privately owned companies could benefit the channel if Dell ultimately sells up.
"From a channel perspective, Dell going private likely won't lead to a retreat from the channel. The channel is already contributing as much as one-third of Dell's total revenue. If anything, the channel will become even more important as Dell will need to accelerate growth and cash flow to meet its debt obligations," he writes.
"Recent examples of tech vendors going private proves out the collateral benefits to the channel. When SonicWall went private, it and its private equity owner, Thoma Bravo, turned to channel partners to uncover new opportunities and expand sales. The same held true at WatchGuard Technologies, which has seen sales through channels surge since it was taken off the market by a private equity firm."
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