Dell shareholders are set to meet in Texas again today to see whether they can agree to go with Big Mike's plan to take the firm private or prefer to wait for a better offer.
Investors are still pretty dubious about their founder's $24.4bn buyout offer for the firm, sources whispered to Reuters, with many feeling that the $13.65 a share they'll get is just not enough. But shareholders are also wary of passing on the deal in case the rejection sends stocks tumbling and leaves them with no better offer.
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Everything was supposed to be decided at a meeting a week ago, but the special committee of board members postponed the ballot, likely because it didn't believe that the deal was going to go through. Mike and Silver Lake have spent the week glad-handing all kinds of investors to try to ensure that they'll get their backing.
The shareholders do have another offer on the table from activist investor Carl Icahn and his partner Southeastern Asset Management, who've said they believe the firm can still recover by turning itself into an enterprise services company. In their latest missive to the board, Icahn and SAM called the board "unconscionable" for delaying the vote and accused it of using "scare tactics" to imply that the firm is in worse shape than it is.
And [w]hy does the Dell Board forget to mention the $13 billion spent on enterprise software that is just beginning to show excellent results? In our opinion and the opinion of a number of experts we have spoken to, Dell’s enterprise software and cloud computing have enormous potential. Why can’t all stockholders benefit from this?
SAM and Icahn added:
Whatever happened to the July 16 promise to “leave the final decision with the disinterested stockholders”? Why does this board keeps protecting Michael Dell even after stockholders have spoken?