Dell Board May Delay Vote on CEO’s $24.4 Billion Buyout Bid
The board reportedly is worried the deal will be rejected, but news reports say Michael Dell will not increase his $13.65-per-share asking price.Dell’s board of directors reportedly is considering delaying the July 18 shareholder vote on CEO Michael Dell’s controversial $24.4 billion bid to buy the company and take it private. Citing an unnamed “person with direct knowledge of the situation,” Bloomberg said July 16 the special committee assigned by the directors to investigate the company’s future may postpone the vote for a week to give it time to seek a higher bid or to gain more support for the proposal put forth by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners. The New York Times said the special committee has been making it clear for days that it would prefer to postpone the shareholder vote than see the bid rejected. The news comes two days before shareholders are set to vote on the Dell-Silver Lake offer, and as activist investor Carl Icahn makes an aggressive effort to derail the deal and gain support for his counteroffer, which among other things would keep Dell as a public company. Icahn, who owns 8.7 percent of Dell’s share, is now the largest outside investor in the company.
Publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes are reporting that the shareholder vote is too close to call, with major investors like T. Rowe Price, Southeastern Asset Management—which also is a partner in Icahn’s counterbid—and investment firm BlackRock among those that are casting votes against Michael Dell’s $13.65-per-share offer.