Dell Votes Tomorrow, But Carl Icahn’s Motives Still Murky

Dell Votes Tomorrow, But Carl Icahn’s Motives Still Murky
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Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) may be looking at a delaying a vote to decide the future of the company in order to fetch a higher buying price from one of the many bidders. Carl Icahn looks like he’s taking charge at Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) today, but what is he looking for from the company?

Dell Votes Tomorrow, But Carl Icahn's Motives Still Murky

The shareholder vote, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Thursday July 18, will decide whether or not shareholders at the PC manufacturer accept an offer from the firm’s founder Michael Dell and a group of investors. The offer, which would see shareholders get $24.4 billion in exchange for the business, which Mr. Dell plans to take private, is looking less likely to pass  by the hour.

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The Icahn Plan

Carl Icahn, one of Wall Street’s most prominent hedge fund managers, is taking the fight to Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) and, despite some early setbacks, right now his protest on the buyout looks likely to carry the day. According to a Reuters report, the offer from Mr. Dell is unlikely to be increased, even if the vote were to be delayed for several days.

It is unclear exactly what Carl Icahn wants from Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL). The intention behind many of his moves are obfuscated by his comments and the complexity of transactions. Icahn originally tried to buy Dell, along with The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX). After that deal fell apart, the hedge fund manager decided to simply protest the Michael Dell deal.

Dell Inc Turnaround

Michael Dell is trying to buy Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) for a cut price according to Icahn. As a major shareholder, he wanted more money out of the deal. The attempt to buy the company may have just been a ploy to scare a higher price out of Michael Dell. Today’s shareholder resistance may stem from the same front.

Icahn thinks that Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is all set to rebound in a new industry—enterprise services. One can assume he’s working in the interests of his investors. On those terms the investment of so much money and time in the Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) deal in the hope the company outperforms in the next 2-3 years is very risky. Getting more cash out of Michael Dell right now isn’t quite so risky.

Icahn is probably looking for returns. That means he’d probably take the cash at the right level. Michael Dell is emotionally attached to the business he started in college. He’s already shown himself prepared to compromise his own position in order to make this deal go through. He doesn’t just believe in the company, the company is a part of him. Carl Icahn thinks he’ll pay just a little more to see it reattached.

If Carl Icahn does end up in a position of power at Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) it will be interesting to watch. The company is reinventing itself, and putting itself into the holy grail of rebound industries. It would seem more beneficial to his investors if he were to take the money and run.

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