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Dell Inc. founder and CEO Michael Dell.
Dell Inc. founder and CEO Michael Dell.
(B. MATHUR/REUTERS)

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Dell’s stash of cash is the hidden gem in LBO

Billionaire entrepreneur Michael Dell has little to show for years of efforts to turn around his flagging, eponymous company. He spent billions on acquisitions to shift into servers, software and enterprise services, bought back stock and even started paying a dividend.

Most investors didn’t care, and those who did were shorting his depressed stock on the assumption that his Dell Inc. was still too anchored to the dying part of the computer business – laptops and desktops. As his firm lumbers off the public stage in a $24.4-billion (U.S.) leveraged buyout , it’s tempting to write off Mr. Dell, not yet out of his 40s, as a dinosaur.