Dell gaining shareholder support for private plans

One of the largest shareholder advisory groups has recommended that Michael Dell's bid to take the vendor he founded private get the backing of shareholders

Michael Dell might be breathing a little bit more freely after a major shareholder advisory group gave him the thumbs up in the battle for the ownership of the company he founded.

With shareholders due to vote next week over the future of Dell with a choice of bids from Michael Dell and billionaire investor Carl Ichan, the main sticking points are around the value and the prospects of the firm going into private hands under its founders leadership.

But with the backing of influential Institutional Shareholder Services for the bid from Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners the prospects of the founder winning out look much stronger.

ISS described the Michael Dell $24.4bn offer, worth $13.65 per share, transferred the risk of transforming the PC vendor and provided shareholders with a "certainty of value".

The ISS has a large influence in the market and already some more fund holders, Egan-Jones Proxy Services and Glass and Lewis & Co, have also swung in behind Michael Dell's offer.

The next week is expected to see lobbying by both Dell and Icahn with there still time for more twists in the sage with Michael Dell coming under pressure to improve his offer and his rival tipped to try and give shareholders more to consider before the key vote next Thursday.

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