Three days before Dell's "go-shop" deadline of March 22, the date at which potential bidders can submit bids to counter the currently proposed $24.4 billion buyout of the company, a second group may be readying a bid, according to reports.
Blackstone may bid as a group with other investors, according to sources with knowledge of the matter, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, billionaire investor Carl Icahn also is reportedly conducting due diligence for a possible offer for Dell, according to Bloomberg. Icahn previously confirmed that he has amassed a "substantial" number of Dell shares and wants the company's board to explore other financial alternatives including a special dividend for shareholders.
Dell is currently working on a leveraged buyout at $13.65 per share in order to give the company more flexibility and more resources to grow without having to worry about satisfying investors' thirst for bottom-line profits.
If another bid is submitted by March 22, Dell can continue negotiations with the bidder beyond that date.
A special committee appointed by Dell's board has maintained that the $13.65-per-share buyout is the best option available for the company, but several major shareholders, including Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management, Dell's largest shareholder, have criticized the deal as benefiting management more than stock owners.
Wall Street has expected Dell to eventually increase the bid price as the stock has traded above the current $13.65 bid since early February. Shares were trading at $14.28 Tuesday morning, up 11 cents, or 0.8 percent.
PUBLISHED MARCH 19, 2013