Dell committee refuses to open books to Icahn without answers

THE COMMITTEE overseeing a bidding war for embattled PC manufacturer Dell has knocked back activist investor Carl Icahn’s request to review the firm’s books.

Icahn, one of Dell’s biggest shareholders, has teamed up with another big investor, Southeastern Asset Management, in a bid to de-rail chief executive Michael Dell’s $24.4bn (£16bn) offer to take the company private.

Icahn and Southeastern have proposed a deal which would see shareholders given a payout or the option of increasing their stakes, which they say offers a better outcome than Michael Dell’s bid, and have requested access to Dell’s accounts to move further on this.

However, a bid committee in charge of ensuring value for shareholders yesterday wrote to Icahn and Southeastern demanding that they clarify several aspects of their proposals.

The letter follows a request from a week ago in which the committee asked Icahn and Southeastern eight questions, including how they plan to finance their offer, which they have not responded to.

“Unless we receive information that is responsive to our 13 May letter, we are not in a position to evaluate whether your proposal [is superior],” the committee said.