Michael Dell successfully bought out his shareholders at the price of $24.8 billion during a much awaited vote Thursday.
Dell, along with other investors including Silver Lake Partners out of California, have been lobbying shareholders to take the deal for seven months. Three previously called meetings were postponed based on non-votes from about 25 percent of the company's shareholders, according to the Austin Business Journal.
A few hundred shareholders showed up to Thursday’s vote. One of them was Vince Dungan, who fought against the idea since it first surfaced.
"I voted against it every time,” he said. “Michael Dell finagled things around until he got his way."
Dungan, an Elgin native, says he stands to lose more than $125,000 in the deal. He first bought stock in the computer maker in 1998. That year, stock prices surged from less than $11 a share to almost $37.
"Dell was doing so good back in the ‘90s,” Dungan said. “They were the company. I was just getting into the stock market, so I picked Dell."
Janet Kres bought into the company in 2001. Dell stock peaked the following year at $56 a share, but since then, prices have steadily dropped. Last year before Christmas, prices dropped below $9 a share.
Still, Kres is confident the Round Rock computer giant will survive. She thinks Michael Dell will shift the company away from the consumer industry and toward cloud servers and security products.
Kres voted in favor of Dell's plan, not because she wanted to take the loss on Wall Street, but because she disagreed with billionaire investor Carl Icahn's plan to keep Dell public and retool the company.
“Primarily, those first two votes were a vote against Icahn,” she said. “I didn't think Icahn had a viable alternative."
In the 1980s, Icahn gained a reputation for stripping companies down and selling the parts. When he took over troubled airline TWA, he sold off its most valuable assets and left after the company filed for bankruptcy. It’s a fate most shareholders didn't want for Dell.
"You hope that things will turn around and you can at least try to get your money out of it if the stock ever comes back, but it hasn't," Dungan said.
Dell employs about 14,000 workers in Central Texas.