The $24.9 billion leveraged buyout offered by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners to take Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) private may have secured enough votes from shareholders to complete the transaction, according to report from Bloomberg based on information from a source familiar with the situation.
Dell’s shareholders supporting leveraged buyout
According to the report, the shareholders of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) who held two-thirds of the voting shares expressed their support for the LBO, the largest recorded transaction since 2007. The source of the information requested anonymity, because the result is not yet disclosed to the public.
Some of the shareholders supporting the bid are Franklin Mutual Advisers and BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE:BLK).
Yesterday, Carl Icahn admitted defeat in his battle to stop Mr. Dell and Silver Lake’s takeover proposal after seven months. In an interview with CNBC, the activist investor said it is “too difficult to win” the fight under the circumstances.
New voting rules
Icahn was referring to the new voting process adopted by Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) after Mr. Dell & Silver Lake increased their bid. Under the new voting rules, the company will only count votes casted and the un-voted shares will no longer be tallied as “no” votes. The company postponed the voting for the approval of the transaction three times due to fears that shareholders might reject it.
According to Icahn, “We tried and at least have the solace to know that we got all the shelves, that’s another $600, $700 million in my calculation with the dividend, so we did the work the board should have been doing…I’ve never seen a situation that points out the need for better corporate governance in this country,” he said.
Carl Icahn’s letter
Icahn also released a letter, which reads, “We have therefore come to the conclusion that we will not pursue additional efforts to defeat the Michael Dell/Silver Lake proposal, although we still oppose it and will move to seek appraisal rights.” He also compared the board of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) with dictatorship. He wrote, “We jokingly ask, ‘What’s the difference between Dell and a dictatorship? The answer: Most functioning dictatorships only need to postpone the vote once to win.”
Commenting on Icahn’s decision, Shannon Cross, analysts at Cross Research said, “It’s going to make the shareholder meeting a lot easier.”
The shareholders of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) are scheduled to officially vote on the transaction on September 12.