ACTIVIST investor Carl Icahn has urged Dell to call off its $24bn (£16bn) buyout deal, claiming it would shortchange shareholders.
Dell’s board yesterday published a letter from the 77-year-old American, who has built up a six per cent stake in the PC manufacturer, claiming that the proposed privatisation “is not in the best interests of Dell shareholders and substantially undervalues the company”. He said that if the deal is voted down, Dell should launch a leveraged capitalisation and issue a special dividend.
Last month, the board recommended a takeover offer from founder Michael Dell and Evercore Partners that values Dell at $13.65 a share. However, opposition to the deal has mounted, and shares are currently trading above that price, suggesting the market is confident that a better deal may be on the cards. The potential buyers have pounced while shares are historically low.
Shareholders are due to vote on the offer at an annual meeting in the summer.