Icahn wants judge to appraise Dell buyout offer

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Icahn wants judge to appraise Dell buyout offer

Warwick Ashford

Billionaire US investor Carl Icahn says he will go to court to get a better price for his stake in the computer manufacturer Dell.

For several months, Carl Icahn has been fighting a $24.4bn buyout offer from a group led by the company’s founder Michael Dell.

In attempt to get back control of the company and take it private, Michael Dell has partnered with private equity group Silver Lake to offer shareholders $13.65 a share.

Michael Dell is seeking to regain majority control so he can pursue his plan to retool the struggling company as a maker of datacentre equipment and software for corporations.

But Icahn and Dell’s biggest shareholders are unhappy with the deal, which is well below their estimation of company’s value at $24 a share.

Having failed to put together a successful rival offer, Icahn now says he will ask a judge to assess whether the offer, supported by Dell’s board, represents a fair price.

He is urging other shareholders to demand a court appraisal too, according to the BBC.

Carl Icahn entered the fray over Dell's sale in support of the unhappy shareholders, at first teaming up with private-equity group Blackstone in March 2013.

But in April 2013, Blackstone withdrew because of concerns over an unprecedented drop in PC sales and Dell reduced its operating income projections for the year to $3bn, down from $3.7bn.

Icahn then teamed up with Southeastern Asset Management, offering to pay $12 a share in cash or stock and let investors hold on to equity in the computer maker.

In the latest appeal to other Dell investors, Icahn said in a letter: "We believe if you seek appraisal, you will receive more."

However, the appraisal process will take time, which will prolong the period shareholders will have to wait until they can offload their shares.

Shareholders are scheduled to vote on the offer led by Michael Dell on 18 July 2013.


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