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Dell deal: HP and Lenovo respond

February 5, 2013: 1:31 PM ET

statler_waldorf (1)Dell's PC rivals have their say.

FORTUNE -- Dell Inc. (DELL) is going private, and now its rivals are beginning to chime in on the $24.4 billion deal.

First up was Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which is the world's largest PC maker (and one that was going to spin off its PC division before Meg Whitman took over and scrapped the idea).

"The company faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers. And with a significant debt load, Dell's ability to invest in new products and services will be extremely limited. Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers and innovation at the curb."

As Julianne Pepitone pointed out, there is more than a bit of irony in HP criticizing others for "an extended period of uncertainty and transition." Also worth noting that HP's board includes Marc Andreessen, whose firm participated in the last big private equity situation that also involved both Microsoft (MSFT)and Silver Lake Partners (that would be Skype). Also on the HP board is G. Kennedy Thompson, who is a senior advisor to leveraged buyout firm Aquiline Capital Partners.

Lenovo (LNVGY), which sells the second-most number of PCs, chose to talk about itself rather than take potshots at Dell:

"While we won't comment on the specifics, we remain as always confident in our strategy, our ability to deliver compelling and innovative products and our overall position and performance. We believe that the financial actions of some of our traditional competitors will not substantially change our outlook. Our strategy is clear, our financial position is healthy and our business is very strong -- so we are focused on our products, customers and overall execution rather than distracting financial maneuvers and major strategic shifts. This focus is an advantage for us and a benefit to our customers.  Lenovo has the best products, a clear strategy and outstanding momentum.  We always face tough competition, and we are well prepared to continue to win in the PC+ era by focusing on our own efforts, core strengths and great execution."

Dell did not mention competitors in its own statement announcing the deal. Maybe that's because it's trying to transition into more of an enterprise services company, and mentioning HP or Lenovo would reinforce its reputation as a PC maker...

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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