Blackstone set to examine Dell ahead of offer

DELL bidder Blackstone Group is set to come closer to finalising an offer for the company today when it checks in to the PC maker’s Texas headquarters to pore over its accounts.

Blackstone, which is one of three parties at the centre of a bidding war for Dell, last month stated its interest in beating an offer tabled by company founder Michael Dell, but is yet to firm up a proposal.

The private equity group is believed to be weighing up a variety of options, which differ with regards to what role current chief executive Michael Dell would play. The 48-year-old has stated his desire to remain at the helm of the company whoever wrestles control of it, and his 15.7 per cent stake means that any deal process with his blessing will be much smoother.

This weekend the third potential bidder, activist investor Carl Icahn, said he may continue to attempt to lead a shareholder rebellion that would force Dell to pay out a hefty sum to investors. On Friday, a Dell board committee offered to pay Icahn’s due diligence costs over his bid proposal if he agrees to drop the fight, but Icahn said he would not back down easily. “No matter how much they are willing to pay to reimburse me I’m not going to give up the right to put in a bid that I think will be compelling to shareholders, even if the board doesn't like it,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

Last week, shares in Dell dropped to around the $14.25 per share Blackstone has said it would bid, suggesting that investors believe this is the price that a buyout will cost.