03.26.13

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Carl Icahn Shows Up in Dell’s Microsoft Takeover Allowance

Posted in Dell, Microsoft at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Carl Icahn

Summary: Microsoft’s ruthless proxy fighter seems to be doing to Michael Dell what he already did to Yang

We recently called for a Dell boycott because the company was becoming a Microsoft pawn, just like Yahoo after Icahn got involved and let Microsoft abduct it from the inside (Yahoo is no longer independent).

According to some reports, Microsoft’s pals show up on the scene again:

Blackstone Group LP (BX) and activist investor Carl Icahn submitted proposals to buy Dell Inc. (DELL) that would rival a $24.4 billion buyout offer from Silver Lake Management LLC and company founder Michael Dell, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Blackstone, the world’s biggest private-equity firm, outlined an offer valued at $13.65 to $14.50 a share, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Icahn said he’d pay $15 a share, with a cap on the amount of cash used in the deal, two people said.

As one site put it, “Carl Icahn Poses Serious Problem for Michael Dell”. This is like Jerry Yang all over again.

Short-suffering Dell (DELL) shareholder Carl Icahn is not going to take this lying down — this being what he says is a weak, unacceptable bid for the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker.

Where did he come from, you might ask? It turns out he now owns a large stake in Dell, and he’s telling founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, who are trying to lead a buyout of the company, that it won’t be happening the way they expect if he has anything to say about it.

Here is more:

There has been another twist in the story of Dell CEO Michael Dell’s quest to take the company he founded private. Already facing a backlash from Dell’s biggest stockholders over the terms of the bid that he and private equity firm Silver Lake have made for the company, there are now two rival bids to contend with. The first comes from a group led by infamous corporate raider Carl Icahn with another led by asset management company Blackstone Group. And both, at least on the surface, appear to be better deals for Dell shareholders—-especially those who want to bet long on the company and keep their stake.

In a press release issued this morning, the “special committee” formed by Dell Inc.’s board to handle negotiations for the company’s sale acknowledged the offers from the Blackstone and Icahn groups. “Both proposals could reasonably be expected to result in superior proposals” to the Michael Dell/Silver Lake offer, the committee said in its written statement on the offers. The committee will now enter into further negotiations with both to hash out the details of each offer and weigh them against the plan to go private.

If Mr. Dell wants to save the company he should escape Microsoft and not become the next Nokia. It’s not too late; not yet.

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