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Dell needs more info from Icahn, Southeastern

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ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) — Dell says it needs more information about billionaire Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management’s alternative buyout offer before it could possibly give two of its biggest shareholders more information about the PC maker.

In a letter sent by Dell’s special committee of the board of directors to Icahn and Southeastern, the company said that it needs more materials and some clarifications on the pair’s bid. The company said unless its board determines that the Icahn-Southeastern offer is a “superior proposal,” it is not allowed to provide information or hold talks related to the bid.

Dell said that unless it receives the information that it requested, it is not in a position to evaluate whether the alternative bid is a superior proposal or not.

Icahn and Southeastern are trying to block the sale of Dell Inc. to founder and CEO Michael Dell and other investors. That group has offered to buy Dell for $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share, but some shareholders argue that price is too low.

A vote on Michael Dell’s bid is supposed to be held by Aug. 2, and the Round Rock, Texas, company’s board of directors is trying to persuade shareholders the offer is a good deal considering the company’s challenges. Dell and other PC makers have struggled with slumping sales in response to the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets. Consumers are spending their money on powerful, more convenient mobile devices like the phones and tablets instead of buying faster computers every few years.

The alternative offer by Icahn and Southeastern, which own a combined 13 percent of the computer maker’s shares, would keep Dell publicly traded.

Dell shares fell 2 cents to $13.38 in premarket trading Monday.

 

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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