Dell shareholders approve buyout by founder Michael Dell

Image caption Mr Dell and Silver Lake Partners say they can better fix Dell's ailing business away from Wall Street

According to a preliminary count, Dell shareholders have approved a $24.9bn (£15.6bn) buyout offer by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners.

This will end Dell's 25-year tenure as a public company.

"I am pleased with this outcome," said Michael Dell in a statement.

Although Mr Dell had initially met resistance from investors over the purchase price, leading to three delays of the vote, those conflicts were finally resolved this week.

"As a private enterprise, with a strong private-equity partner, we'll serve our customers with a single-minded purpose and drive the innovations that will help them achieve their goals," said Mr Dell.

Mr Dell was alluding to the fact that he hopes to be able to restructure and revitalise the struggling computer maker's business away from the spotlight of Wall Street investors.

Last month, Dell reported a 72% decline in profits for the quarter, as consumers have increasingly turned away from Dell's core business of personal computers.

Mr Dell and his partners have argued that in order to turn around the company, there must be some painful changes that could impact on profits for the next two years, which is why they wanted to take the company private.

Some shareholders, such as billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, had argued that Mr Dell's purchase price was too low.

There were several court cases, and subsequent delays of a shareholder vote.

The final offer would pay $13.88 per share to shareholders, as well as an 8 cents per share quarterly dividend.

The sale is expected to close by the third quarter of 2014.

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