Temasek won't join Silver Lake for Dell buyout: source

Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:49pm GMT

A staff member is reflected in a Temasek Holdings logo at their headquarters before the presentation of Temasek's annual review in Singapore September 17, 2009. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash

A staff member is reflected in a Temasek Holdings logo at their headquarters before the presentation of Temasek's annual review in Singapore September 17, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Vivek Prakash

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(Reuters) - Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd is not interested in investing in Dell Inc as part of a consortium led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

"It's not happening," the source told Reuters on Thursday, responding to media reports that Temasek is one of the potential investment partners Silver Lake has tapped to join.

A Temasek spokesman declined to comment on market speculation.

Buyout firm Silver Lake Partners has tapped Credit Suisse, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and RBC to finance a potential deal as talks to take Dell private advance, sources have previously told Reuters.

A second source aware of Temasek's strategy said a company like Dell does not fit into the firm's investment themes. Temasek's four themes are Transforming Economies, Growing Middle Income Populations, Deepening Comparative Advantages and Emerging Champions.

"If you look at the themes, whether it is the growing middle income class or transforming economies, Dell is not an obvious thing for (Temasek) to look at," the source said.

Of Temasek's S$198 billion ($162 billion) portfolio, about 70 percent of investments are in Asia.

A potential buyout of Dell -- a $19 billion company -- would be one of the largest deals since the global recession. It will also allow Dell, which has been trying to become a one-stop shop for corporate technology needs as the PC market shrinks, to conduct that difficult makeover away from public scrutiny.

Dell, which has been in talks with private equity firms on a potential buyout, has had on-and-off discussions with the firms but talks heated up late last year, sources have said.

A deal involves equity investment from billionaire CEO Michael Dell, who owns 14 percent of the world's No. 3 PC maker, a source with knowledge of the matter has said. Dell, America's 22nd richest person according to Forbes, invests and manages his fortune through MSD Capital.

Michael Dell now owns 244 million shares in the company, according to Thomson Reuters data, and last year was ranked the 22nd richest American with a fortune of $14.6 billion.

Dell shares gained 1.7 percent on Thursday to $12.82.

($1 = 1.22 Singapore dollars)

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar in Singapore; Additional reporting by Nicola Leske in New York; Editing by Paritosh Bansal, Gerald E. McCormick and Nick Zieminski)

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