Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners have raised $24.4 billion, including a $2 billion loan from Microsoft, to take Dell private.
From a financial perspective, that's impressive. And it makes a lot of sense for Dell.
With the PC business shrinking and Microsoft going in a new direction that puts it in direct competition with its OEM hardware partners, Dell has been trying to make a complex transition from products to solutions. But despite spending $13 billion on acquisitions since 2008 - including 10 in 2012 alone - 70% of its revenue still comes from PCs. As a public company, its need to answer to Wall Street every 90 days has been holding it back.
Freed from the tyranny of Wall Street's insatiable appetite for short-term growth, Dell will be able to take the tough but necessary actions that will accelerate its transition into new higher value and higher margin businesses. Because the truth is this transition can't - and won't - happen overnight -- even without the scrutiny of Wall Street.
Just ask IBM. The spectacularly successful transition it made from a technology and sales leader to a global consulting powerhouse starting in 1993 took a decade. And 2013 sure isn't 1993.
But this deal also sends a clear message to the entire PC ecosystem and its key players - from Microsoft to other OEM hardware companies to technology solutions providers, resellers and mainline distributors: we are officially in the post-PC era.
There will be winners and losers, of course, as there always are in any new technology wave. Michael Dell wants the company he founded in his college dorm room in 1984 to be one of the winners.
Dell's success, however, is far from assured. This is a company that was at one time the leader in the PC business. Then it became a leader in the PC business. It is about to enter a space where it is not even in the top quadrant -- let alone one of the top three.
To find out what Marty Wolf thinks Dell's top priorities as a private company will be, read his article published in Yahoo! Finance on February 6th.