ROUND ROCK, TX -- For the last nine months, Michael Dell has tried to buy out the company he built -- to then take it private.
Thursday a new chapter started: Dell and Silver Lake Partners acquired the computer company for $24.9 billion. Each shareholder will receive $13.88 per share.
"He's quite convinced he can improve the company's situation. That's why he must have done it," said University of Texas Economic Professor Daniel Hamermesh. "He believes he can manage it better than it can be managed as a public company. But what that implies for Austin is absolutely unclear."
Many wonder if declining profits can rebound.
"The whole personal computing industry is having problems. For a whole variety of reasons. One thing is, you can get a very good computer for very little money these days," noted Hamermesh.
But Dell Spokesman David Frink says the PC business is fundamental and critical to the company's success. In fact, Dell, Inc. will debut new notebooks and tablets in the next few weeks.
Another concern for Central Texans -- layoffs which could trickle down.
Green Mesquite opened in a shopping center near the Dell, Inc. campus four months ago.
"Dell has quite a few folks who come over just for lunch. Obviously they're a big employer," said Green Mesquite General Manager Michael McDonnell.
McDonnell says if there are layoffs, his business and others around him could suffer.
"With what they contribute to the local economy, we hope everything works out. Obviously we want them to continue hiring and continue doing better," added McDonnell.
Many feel the same way about Round Rock's largest employer. But Hamermesh believes even if there are layoffs and downsizing at Dell, the Austin - Round Rock metro area will be just fine.
"Just remember one thing. Even in Austin, though it is a very big employer, the economy, the area is so big and so diverse that there's no single thing that could kill us off," said Hamermesh.
And Frink said while the company will review operations, the employment level in Central Texas, where Dell Inc. employs 14,000 people, will be quote "largely unaffected by the transaction."
Dell, Inc. will remain a publicly traded company until the third quarter of 2014.