When I was kid, if E.F. Hutton spoke “people listened,” that has changed with the technology but the theme is the same. Billionaire investor who has some 90,000 followers for the 36 tweets he’s now sent, wrote today to tell us that he is finally abandoning his battle against the sale of Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) to its founder believing that he has better uses for his money. Icahn tweeted that he is forgoing his right to have the Delaware Court of Chancery appraise the value of his shares in the company.
Icahn on Dell’s shares
Not surprisingly, given the means of message, Icahn was succinct typing, “I withdrew my demand for appraisal of my Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) shares. Based on our returns on capital, we believe we have better uses for $2 billion.”
Following the tweet his company disclosed that they had indeed given up the fight by way of a regulatory filing to the SEC.
The decision comes nearly a month after shareholders approved Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL)’s $24.9 billion sale to its founder Michael S. Dell, and Silver Lake investment firm. The deal reached fruition after the two upped their bid in exchange for changed voting rules that helped them defeat both Southeastern Asset Management and Icahn.
Shareholders right to share appraisal
In Delaware, where Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is incorporated, shareholders are allowed to exercise their rights to appraisal and demand a court hearing to determine their value. This is just one tactic Icahn used to delay the sale. And now it seems it’s over with for good.
There is some risk with the process that could have been drawn out for months. While Icahn could have received more money in the end but he could also have received a good deal less.
Icahn’s tweet a formality
Icahn had already said that he would drop his fight so today’s announcement was a mere formality. Actually, it wasn’t even that given that he merely tweeted it which I can’t imagine means much in a court of law. The real formality was the filing that shows that he’s divested his holdings in Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL), grabbed his money, and will surely make it grow.
Icahn has better things to do with his time given his stature and money. Recently that seems to have been dining with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO where he’s reported to have “demanded” 150 billion dollar buyback of outstanding shares.