Investor Carl Icahn responded to Dell CEO Michael Dell and his investment allies' latest move to increase their offer to 10 cents a share to take Dell private by calling the offer unfair and saying it takes away investor protections.
Icahn, in a Wednesday SEC filing of an open letter to Dell shareholders, responded to Michael Dell's plan to boost his and his allies' offer by 10 cents per share to $13.75, contingent on the approval of a change in whether or not to count non-votes, such as absentees.
Under the new proposal, shareholders who do not vote would see their shares not counted in the final tally. This is a significant change in the current plan in which a non-vote would count as a vote against Dell's privatization bid.
Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners also proposed to the Dell board's special committee that the shareholders vote on the privatization bid, originally rescheduled for Wednesday, be delayed until next week.
Icahn, who is leading a group of affiliated investment companies and third-party investors planning to vote against the privatization, was fast to react to the new proposal.
Earlier Wednesday, Icahn tweeted to his followers, "All would be swell at Dell if Michael and the board bid farewell," per an earlier SEC filing.
Dell's privatization bid is both exciting and frustrating, said Roger Michelson, vice president and COO of BNMC, an Andover, Mass.-based solution provider and long-term Dell partner.
"The biggest frustration with the people we work with is that Dell has made all these acquisitions over the years, and is moving more into services," Michelson said. "So Dell partners can go to customers with a complete solution with services bundled around it. We never could do that before. But, Wall Street doesn't really see it. The frustration stems from the company getting punished by those who only look at the number of products pushed this quarter when that's not the business Dell is in today."
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