06 March 2013

AUSTIN / TECHNOLOGY : 11 Mar UPDATE: Activist Investor Carl Icahn Gets Peek Inside Dell Books After Joining LBO Fray; Wants $15.7 Billion Special Dividend.


      It has already paid-off for notorious activist investor/corporate raider Carl Icahn to empty some of his fat wallet to buy Dell stock.
      Dell has given him permission to take a peek at their books... after he planted a small landmine in the path of the proposed LBO of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell.
      Founder and CEO Michael Dell wants to take the struggling #3 PC company private... at $13.65 per share...and reshape it into a small IBM clone...without shareholder supervision.
     Dell owns about 16% of the shares.
     He lined-up California equity firm Silver Lake...and Microsoft to help take it private. 
     But...at least 3 large shareholders are balking at the proposed price...believing that Michael Dell is seriously low-balling the takeover. 
    One fund wanted a look at the books worried about Michael Dell's conflict of interest...while another wants Dell to deliver a $9-12 special dividend from its captive overseas cash hoard of $9 billion.
    CNBC reports that Icahn has acquired 100 million shares...or about 5.7%.
    Icahn also wants a Dell pay-out...a $15.7 billion special dividend.
    Icahn's demands are seriously muddying what seemed a likely done Dell deal.
    Corporate raider Icahn has successfully moved against many companies including...RJR Nabisco, Yahoo!, Time Warner and Blockbuster.
    Bloomberg reports that Lenovo, Blackstone and Hewlett Packard have also shown interest in the company...during the 45 day so-called 'Go-Shop period.'
    The 'Go-Shop' officially ends on 22 March...but the committee is willing to extend it to examine proposals.
    A tech analyst told the Austin newspaper that Lenovo and Hewlett probably got involved to...'mess the deal up and make it more expensive and harder for Dell to go private.'
    Observers now predict that Dell and his partners will have to raise the price...to at least  $15 per share.
    Today...Dell shares are up slightly at $14.27.