Dell Inc., the personal computer maker facing mounting shareholder resistance to a proposed $24.4 billion leveraged buyout, has agreed to let billionaire investor Carl Icahn review confidential information.
Icahn, who has amassed a stake in Dell and is pushing the company to pay a $9 a share special dividend, announced the agreement in a statement today, without providing additional details. Dell couldn't immediately be reached for comment outside of regular business hours in Round Rock, Texas, where the company is based.
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Dell's board is seeking bids higher than the $13.65 a share offer by Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management LLC to take the company private. The deal -- which requires approval from a majority of shareholders excluding CEO Dell -- has been opposed by shareholders including Southeastern Asset Management Inc. and T. Rowe Price Group Inc., who have said the price undervalues the company.
Icahn said last week that he asked Dell's board to pledge that it will implement his dividend proposal if shareholders reject the Michael Dell-led offer. Otherwise, Icahn said he will start a proxy fight and seek to replace board members with his own candidates.