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Monday, October 24, 2016

NEW YORK CITY (AFP) – The buyout offer for Dell led by company founder Michael Dell was raised slightly Wednesday, and a shareholder vote on the plan was postponed until August 2, the company said.

The offer from Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake was boosted to $13.75 per share, from $13.65 a share, a company statement said.

A letter to shareholders said the new offer adds $150 million to the prior bid of $24.4 billion, and said it was “our best and final proposal.”

It said the offer was contingent on a modification of the approval process to require a majority of shares voted, instead of a majority of all outstanding shares held by the unaffiliated stockholders.

“We are not willing to discuss any further increase in the merger consideration nor are we willing to increase the merger consideration to $13.75 per share without the change to the Unaffiliated Stockholder Approval requirement,” the letter said.

“There is simply no rational basis for shares that are not voted to count as votes against the merger agreement for purposes of the unaffiliated stockholder vote.”

The move came amid stiff opposition to the buyout by some shareholders who argued that Michael Dell’s bid undervalued the former number one computer maker.

Opponents have been galvanized by corporate raider Carl Icahn, with some other institutional investors also opposing the effort.

The buyout aims to take Dell private to allow the company to restructure in a rapidly changing tech landscape. While Dell is flush with cash it has been losing market share and has failed to make an impact in the growing area or mobile computing.

Photo Credit: AFP/Justin Sullivan

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