The technology business week: two other offers for Dell, Yahoo! to buy Summly

2 Apr 2013

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week.

Michael Dell faces pitch battle to retain control of the company he started

Michael Dell is facing competition from two main contenders who may scupper his US$24.4bn bid to take computer giant Dell private. Dell’s board of directors has confirmed that the company has received two other offers.

Dell is to go private under a US$24.4bn transaction led by founder Michael Dell and global tech investment firm Silver Lake and involving loans and financing from Microsoft and major investment banks.

Dell is offering stockholders US$13.65 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, in a transaction valued at about US$24.4bn.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the second quarter of Dell’s current financial year.

A special committee formed by Dell’s board of directors confirmed it has received two alternative proposals.

However, corporate raider Carl Icahn has entered the fray, attempting to acquire up to 6pc of Dell stock at US$15 a share with US$2bn of his own cash.

Blackstone Capital has also entered the bidding, offering shareholders the option to be bought out at around US$14.25 a share.

Yahoo! to acquire news summarising app Summly

Internet giant Yahoo! is to acquire mobile product company Summly for an undisclosed sum.

Yahoo! announced the deal today in a blog post by Adam Cahan, senior vice-president of mobile and emerging products. He wrote about living in a world of constant information that requires new ways to simplify how consumers find, at a glance, stories that are important to them.

Summly is an app that allows users to browse news quickly and easily, by showing them concise summaries of online content.

Under the deal, the Summly app will close and the Summly team will join Yahoo!

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter.

Amazon acquires bookish social community Goodreads

E-commerce, gadget and cloud giant Amazon has acquired Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations which has a community of 16m who have added 530m books to their shelves.

The value of the deal wasn’t disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of Q2.

The move should provide impetus to the kind of success Amazon is enjoying with its Kindle devices and online bookstore.

BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis to leave company in May

BlackBerry co-founder Mike Lazaridis will retire as vice-chairman and director of the company on 1 May to focus on his new venture, Quantum Valley Investments.

Lazaridis co-founded the Canadian company, formerly named Research in Motion (RIM), nearly 30 years ago and served as a co-CEO of the firm with Jim Balsillie until last year, when Lazaridis was elected vice-chair of the board and Thorsten Heins was appointed CEO.

“We are grateful to Mike for his contributions to BlackBerry during the past three decades,” said Barbara Stymiest, chairman of BlackBerry’s board of directors.

“Mike invented the BlackBerry and is widely recognised as one of Canada’s greatest innovators.”

Zynga CIO Debra Chrapaty appointed CEO of Nirvanix

Zynga CIO Debra Chrapaty is leaving the company to take the helm of enterprise cloud storage firm Nirvanix this month as its CEO.

Chrapaty replaces Dru Borden, who will remain at the San Diego-based company as a director and senior vice-president of planning and development, AllThingsD reported.

Chrapaty will also remain executive chairwoman of the board of Nirvanix, which she had joined in November.

Back over at Zynga, executive Dorion Carroll will replace Chrapaty as CIO.

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