Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) shareholders may be in for a long battle at the top of the company as Carl Icahn mulls over an attempt to take control of the company’s board. According to an article that appeared on the Fox Business News site earlier today, Icahn may join forces with the largest shareholder Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) to take control of the board.
Icahn has been firmly opposed to a $24 billion buyout of the company organized by Michael Dell, and backed by several private investors. Icahn is resolute in his assertion that the privatization undervalues the company’s shares and does a disservice to the firm’s shares, and to Icahn himself by extension.
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The report that emerged today suggests that Icahn will join forces with Southeastern Asset Management, the largest holder of outstanding shares in the PC manufacturer, in an attempt to take control of the board at Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL). Control of the board would allow Carl Icahn to block the privatization of the company.
Icahn previously tried to buy Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) himself, offering $15 per share. The privatization offer sets the value of the company’s shares at $13.65 per share. Another offer, from Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX), valued the company at $14.25 a share. Icahn is now concentrating on getting control of the company’s board, rather than attempting a full buyout of Dell.
In a recent agreement with Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) Icahn agreed to refrain from taking control of more than 10 percent of the company’s shares, and would not come to a binding agreement with any shareholder, or group of shareholders, that held more than 15 percent of the company’s outstanding shares.
The report that was released this morning states that the fight to take control of the company’s board would be a prelude to Icahn and Southeastern demanding a special dividend from Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL). The special dividend would be an incentive for investors, including Icahn, to quickly accept the buyout and put Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) on the road toward privatization.
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) has been one of the companies hardest hit by the collapse of the PC market, though the firm’s problems certainly date back to before the invention of the tablet. So far in 2013, shares in the firm have risen by around 30 percent in the hopes of a buyout of shares. On today’s market, the firm’s stock stood at $13.31.