Dell completes buyout as smelly laptop problem lingers

Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners have successfully completed their buyout of the company, but are having to deal with an unusually pungent technical issue affecting some Dell Latitude notebooks

Dell CEO Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners have formally completed their $24.9bn (£15.5bn) acquisition of Dell, taking the firm private.

Following the completion of the transaction, trading in Dell’s common stock concluded at the end of business on 29 October 2013, at which point the firm began the process of delisting its shares from the NASDAQ stock market.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Dell stockholders will receive $13.75 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, plus payment of a special cash dividend of $0.13 per share to stockholders of record as of the close of business on 28 October 2013, for total consideration of $13.88 per share in cash.

“Today, Dell enters an exciting new chapter as a private enterprise,” said Dell. “Our 110,000 team members worldwide are 100% focused on our customers and aggressively executing our long-term strategy for their benefit.”

However, Dell’s final victory in its long-running battle to go private has been overshadowed by reports that users of its Latitude 6430u ultrabook PCs have been claiming that their devices smell of cat urine.

A number of Dell customers had claimed that their computers smelled as if they had been in close proximity to a cat’s litter tray, with others reporting that the offensive odour appeared to be coming from the machine’s keyboard.

According to Dell’s Support Forums, the problem – which the company insists was not feline-related or a health hazard in any way – was traced to a “a manufacturing process which has now been changed.”

The Guardian reported Dell had apparently been concerned that the number of Latitude 6430u ultrabooks being returned for examination might disrupt availability in the supply chain.

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