Blackstone Drops Out Of Race To Buy Dell

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dell says buyout specialist Blackstone Group is ending a bid to buy the slumping computer maker, less than a month after pitching a plan to trump an offer from the company's CEO and founder.

A letter to Dell Inc. from Blackstone and others involved in the bid says a steep slump in PC shipments and Dell's eroding financial profile prompted them to end their bid. The letter notes that PC shipments plunged by 14 percent in the first quarter, and Dell has lowered its operating income forecast since the bid was submitted.

The Round Rock, Texas, company agreed earlier this year to sell itself to CEO Michael Dell and a group of investors led by Silver Lake Partners for $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share. But key shareholders have been unhappy about that offer.

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