Private-Equity Buyouts Shortchange Shareholders

Private-Equity Buyouts Shortchange Shareholders

Farewell, then DELL DELL -1.08%. After a quarter century of service, the stock ticker for Dell Inc. is likely to be consigned to the dust bin of history this week. On Thursday, to be precise, shareholders are expected to seal the sale of the computer company to the private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners and founder Michael Dell.

The soon-to-be owners argue—and shareholder advisory firms agree—that this is for the best. That turning around a struggling personal computer maker simply can’t be done in the public markets. That the tyranny of quarterly earnings, fickle share prices and what-have-you-done-for-me-lately investors is too hard to endure.

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