When I hear the expression used, “We are trying to change the tires while the car is still moving,” I cringe. Even the most efficient tire changers in the world, the NASCAR pit crews, still require the vehicle to come to a full stop. Wall Street doesn’t allow full stops. Dell, while having done quite well turning its business model towards wider IT systems and services, based mainly on a slew of enterprise IT oriented acquisitions, initially punctuated by the purchase of Perot Systems over three years ago and underscored by the addition of ex-IBM and ex-CA Technologies turnaround specialist John Swainson in 2012 to run software, isn’t quite a NASCAR pit crew.
Today’s announcement of the pending leveraged buyout clearly is intended to give Mr. Dell the room and time he needs to take his foot off the quarterly brakes without the spreadsheet-toting stare of Wall Street handing out traffic violations. The drama of the largest privatization in the history of information technology may not quite have ended, however, because the deal still needs to go through a long list of approvals, with Dell allowing for a healthy six month window before close.