TIN BOX FLOGGER Dell has been sued by Carl Icahn to try to stop Michael Dell from changing the rules on voting for his buyout proposal.
Dell has been involved in a public battle between its founder and CEO Michael Dell and corporate raider Carl Icahn for months, with Michael Dell's leveraged buyout proposal to take the company private meeting stiff opposition from Icahn and his supporters. Now Icahn has filed a lawsuit against Dell trying to stop voting changes put forward by Michael Dell that should in theory make it easier for his offer to win shareholder approval.
Michael Dell hopes that by taking the firm private he can turn it around without having to bow to the influence of shareholders. However Icahn claimed that Michael Dell's initial offer of $13.65 a share undervalued the company and teamed up with Southeastern Asset Management to propose a rival bid.
Dell's shareholder vote was sensationally postponed at the last minute, with the firm scheduling the vote for today. In the meantime, Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners have revised their offer to $13.75 a share and also asked that those who bought shares after 5 February also be able to vote on the firm's future. Michael Dell also tried to get abstained votes counted in favour of his deal, a move that Dell's Special Committee declined.
Icahn's lawsuit is a last ditch attempt to stop Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners from taking Dell private. Icahn's actions also suggest that Michael Dell has amassed enough shares after 5 February to sway the vote, which is widely expected to be a very close run thing, in his favour. µ
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