Large public companies (e.g. S&P 500) seem to end their lives in one of two ways: either they're acquired (or taken private), or they go bankrupt.
Theoretically it seems like there should be a third option: to wind up the company and return assets to shareholders (as Michael Dell famously suggested Apple should do). A company that realises its industry is in decline and it's about to become unprofitable as a business surely ought to do this; it would give the shareholders at least some cash, rather than the nothing they'll get in bankruptcy. But I can't remember this ever happening, at least in my lifetime (alternately, maybe it's common enough to simply not be news?). A struggling company like HP or Nokia or Blackberry seems to always keep going to a buyout or the bitter end, even when "everyone" can see they're doomed.
Are large public companies ever simply wound up? If not, why?