Michael Dell: 'We are public again and very much ready to be so'

  • At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Michael Dell says his move to take Dell Technologies private has transformed the once-struggling company.
  • Dell, which has a market cap of about $32 billion, has invested more than $21 billion in R&D over the last five years and paid down $14.4 billion in debt.

After spending half a decade as a private company, Dell Technologies is back in the hands of the public, and Chairman and CEO Michael Dell says he's "very much ready to be so," claiming that over the last five years, he has transformed the company.

In 2013 Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners closed a $25 billion deal to acquire Dell Technologies and take it out of the limelight — and away from the pressure of its investors. The bold move gave the PC maker time to rethink and reposition the struggling company.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Dell told Squawk Box's Becky Quick, "During the period we were private, we really transformed the company. Now almost 90 percent of our engineers are software engineers. The company grew 17 percent in GAAP revenues in the last nine months, our data center business grew 22 percent, and we are the world leader of infrastructure hardware and software and outgrowing the industry."

Dell Technologies' market cap is currently around $32 billion, with seven brands, including Dell, Dell EMC, VMWare, Pivotal, SecureWorks, RSA and Virtustream. VMware's new offerings around cloud-native now position Dell to handle multicloud enterprise operations.

Michael Dell speaking at the 2019 WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23rd, 2019.
Adam Galica | CNBC
Michael Dell speaking at the 2019 WEF in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 23rd, 2019.

And Dell claims the company's investments aren't slowing down anytime soon. "We've invested over $21 billion in R&D in the last five years, and we're continuing to vest. We're outgrowing the market. We've paid down $14.4 billion in debt since the EMC combination, and we'll continue to pay down at a healthy pace toward investment grade. Our data center business is the largest in the world."

Dell added that over the last 12 months, the company's earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization was $10 billion and its interest coverage is closer to $2 billion. "While there are a lot of zeroes, the interest coverage is quite healthy and we're in a very good spot," he said.

As for the future of tech, Dell said he is very excited about what's to come. "The last three decades were really kind of a foundational layer upon which all these new things are being created. What's super interesting now is that the cost of a computer in the form of a sensor or small microcontroller is approaching zero. So everything's becoming intelligent.

"Some of it will be hype and some of it won't work, but were seeing it move at a very significant pace across just about every industry," he said.