Last August Michael Dell approached the board of the computer company he had founded in 1984. He had a proposition: He wanted to take Dell Inc. private and told the board he was the right person to do so, according to people familiar with the matter.
Soon after, serious talks began, moving from Round Rock, Texas, where Dell is based, to California to New York. The code name for the potential deal: Mr. Denali. The discussions broke up several times over price, especially in the final weeks of the deal, according to the people. The price ranged from an initial offer of $12 a share to the final price of $13.65.