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Dell Inc. founder and chief executive Michael Dell smiles during a business conference organised in New Delhi in this March 22, 2011 file photo. Dell Inc is edging closer to an agreement to sell itself to a buyout consortium led by Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners in a deal that could top $24 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTR2K8AQ
Dell Inc. founder and chief executive Michael Dell smiles during a business conference organised in New Delhi in this March 22, 2011 file photo. Dell Inc is edging closer to an agreement to sell itself to a buyout consortium led by Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners in a deal that could top $24 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Friday. REUTERS/B Mathur/Files (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTR2K8AQ
(B MATHUR/REUTERS)

Financial Times

Dell offer leaves the crucial question unanswered

Reuters Breakingviews delivers agenda-setting financial insight. Its global correspondents react to stories as they develop, delivering sharp and provocative commentary on big financial news as it breaks.

Dell is a pretty good business (selling information technology to companies and governments) tied up with a pretty bad one (selling personal computers). The company’s boss, Michael Dell, wants to take the whole bundle private for $24-billion (U.S.). Other Dell shareholders must assess whether that’s a good price before deciding whether to tender their shares. Unfortunately, they currently lack a crucial piece of information: exactly how good the good business is, and how bad the bad business is.