Timeline: Dell since 1984, a roller-coaster ride

Tue Feb 5, 2013 8:39pm IST

A Chinese saleswoman stands behind a row of Dell computers at a computer market in Beijing June 29, 2009. REUTERS/David Gray/Files

A Chinese saleswoman stands behind a row of Dell computers at a computer market in Beijing June 29, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray/Files

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REUTERS - Twenty-nine years after its founding, iconic computer maker Dell IncDELL.O agreed to a $24.4 billion deal to go private on Tuesday. The $13.65-per-share deal for the world's third-largest computer maker involves chairman Michael Dell, private equity firm Silver Lake and Microsoft Corp(MSFT.O).

Here is a look at Dell's 28-year journey:

1984 - Michael Dell, a 19-year-old, pre-med college freshman starts selling computers built from stock components out of his dorm room at the University of Texas in Austin. He later drops out to focus on the business he names "PC's Limited."

1985 - PC's Limited creates a 10-megabyte personal computer, the Turbo PC, with a pricetag of $795, undercutting IBM's(IBM.N) costlier machines. The business expands to set up its first international subsidiary two years later in Britain.

1988 - PC's Limited changes its names to Dell Computer Corp and goes public, raising $30 million and increasing its market capitalization to $85 million. Its shares debut at $8.50, or a cumulative split-adjusted price of 9 cents.

1989 - First laptop computer, the 316LT, goes on sale.

1990 - Dell opens a manufacturing center in Limerick, Ireland, to serve Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

1992 - Company debuts on Fortune 500, making Michael Dell the youngest CEO on the list at the time, at age 27.

1995 - Dell goes global, expanding to Asia, Japan, Europe and the Americas.

1996 - Dell.com launches, hits $1 million in daily sales in six months.

1997 - Second manufacturing center in Texas opens, ships its 10-millionth PC.

2000 - Dell.com's online sales hit $40 million a day.

2001 - Dell becomes No. 1 computer systems provider worldwide.

2002 - HP merges with Compaq to take No.1 spot in PC sales. Dell soon regains its top spot.

2003 - Company renamed Dell Inc.

2004 - Michael Dell resigns as CEO but retains position as chairman to focus on his philanthropic foundation. Then-President and COO Kevin Rollins ascends.

2005 - Growth begins to slow and stock starts losing momentum.

2006 - A battery recall after a Dell laptop catches fire dents its image. After several quarters when its results missed Wall Street expectations, HP displaces Dell as No. 1 PC seller in the fourth quarter.

2007 - Rollins resigns and Michael Dell returns as CEO.

2009 - Dell acquires Perot Systems for $3.9 billion and launches Dell Services to drive its end-to-end IT services business. It also enters the smartphone market with the Mini 3i from China Mobile.

2010 - Dell starts selling the Streak, a 5-inch tablet, subsequently considered a flop. Goes on an acquisition spree and snaps up companies in storage, systems management, cloud computing and software: Boomi, Exanet, InSite One, KACE, Ocarina Networks, Scalent and Compellent.

2011 - Acquires Secure Works, RNA Networks and Force10 Networks, rounding out its enterprise capability.

2012 - Makes another half dozen acquisitions including storage protection company Credant Technologies and software manufacturer Quest Software.

Later that year, the world's No. 3 PC maker enters talks with private equity firms on potential buyout deal.

2013 - Dell agrees to be taken private for $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share, in a deal that involves private equity firm Silver Lakes, Microsoft Corp, and its Chairman Michael Dell.

(Reporting By Poornima Gupta and Malathi Nayak; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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