Dell and Icahn reach agreement that could pave way for new bid

DELL has come to a somewhat cordial agreement with activist investor Carl Icahn in the bitter battle to wrestle control of the troubled PC maker.

A special bid committee, set up to oversee rival offers between the various parties vying for control of Dell, said yesterday that Icahn had agreed not to take his stake above 10 per cent.

In return, he will be able to team up with other bidders, such as private equity firm Blackstone, over an offer that would rival chief executive Michael Dell’s $24.4bn (£15.9bn) bid to take Dell private.

Blackstone and Icahn have both been critical of Michael Dell’s offer, claiming it significantly undervalues the PC maker. Both have tabled non-binding proposals that value the firm at higher than $24.4bn and yesterday’s developments could improve the prospect of an actual bid.

“[We] believe that granting the limited waiver to Mr Icahn... will maximize the chances of eliciting a superior proposal while at the same time protecting shareholders against potential accumulation of an unduly influential voting interest,” the committee said.