Dell bidding war poised to kick off as Blackstone and Icahn plan rival offers

THE BATTLE to wrestle control of Dell is set to hot up this week after two potential bidders said they would rival an offer tabled by the PC maker’s founder.

Private equity group Blackstone and activist investor Carl Icahn have both written to Dell’s special committee before a Saturday deadline expired that would have prevented rival bids, sources said.

The committee was set up in order to establish whether shareholders could get a better offer than company founder Michael Dell’s $24.4bn (£16bn) bid to take the world’s third-biggest PC manufacturer private.

This week, both Blackstone and Icahn are set to raise the stakes by offering more than the $13.65 a share offered by Michael Dell, who is working with buyout specialists Silver Lake Partners.

Blackstone is believed to have committed to an offer of at least $14.25 a share, while Icahn is reportedly offering $15 per share in a deal that would see his investment vehicle take majority control of Dell with some of the company still publicly traded.

Since the company’s board recommended Michael Dell’s bid at the start of February, shares have risen to $14.14 in anticipation of a better offer surfacing.

The parties did not comment.