Activist investor Carl Icahn has urged his fellow Dell shareholders to join him in trying to get a higher price for their stockholdings in court.
Icahn has written a letter to investors telling them they should reject the $24.4bn buyout offer to take the firm private lodged by company founder Mike Dell and Silver Lake Partners, and ask the courts to appraise the value of the company's shares.
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The letter is Icahn's latest attempt to put a stop to Big Mike's bid to pay off all the stockholders at $13.65 per share, and take his PC giant private. Icahn has also teamed up with Southeastern Asset Management for an alternative debt-restructuring plan for the beleaguered biz. But shareholder advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis and Egan Jones have all said they support Mike's offer.
"Under Delaware law if a merger occurs and you did not vote for it, you are entitled, through appraisal, to the fair value of your shares as determined by a Delaware court," Icahn wrote. "We have done a great deal of due diligence concerning the value of Dell, and as we have said in the past, we believe the $13.65 merger price substantially undervalues your Dell shares, and we believe if you seek appraisal, you will receive more."
He also said that the appraisal route was totally worth it, because even if stockholders later changed their minds, they could still take the $13.65 deal up to 60 days after the merger.
"To add a new twist to an old saying, 'you can have your cake and eat it too'," he added, saying he reckoned that Mike and Silver Lake would rather negotiate with those seeking appraisal and settle for a price more than $13.65 to get them to drop their claims. ®