Icahn readies financing for Dell counterbid

CARL Icahn is expected to mount his latest challenge to Michael Dell’s $24.4bn (£15.8bn) bid to take control of the PC giant today, announcing $5.2bn of funding from Jefferies.

The 77-year-old activist investor, whose rival offer was rebuffed by Dell’s board earlier this month, will try to push through his deal if shareholders reject Michael Dell’s offer in a vote on 18 July.

Icahn proposes to match Michael Dell’s bid but to allow shareholders who want to retain equity to do so. However, a committee set up to oversee the bidding process raised concerns about how the deal would be funded, saying shareholders could lose out.

Today, Icahn will attempt to allay fears by announcing $5.2bn worth of loans from Jefferies. He expects to have full funding lined up by July’s vote. Icahn and Jefferies did not comment. On Friday, Michael Dell made a personal pitch to Dell shareholders, saying keeping it public would threaten its future.

Icahn is expected to have the financing lined up for a 18 July shareholder vote on the bid from Dell, which is known as the Silver Lake bid.

Now, Icahn is asking that Dell shareholders agree to a tender offer for 1.1bn shares at $14 apiece in a stock buyback.

Icahn and Southeastern, which together own about 13 per cent of Dell stock, argue the Dell and Silver Lake offer of $13.65 undervalues the company and that the recent numbers reported by Dell are understated.

Dell’s proposed take-private sale price has undergone several iterations starting at $11.22 to $12.16 per share, a price proposed by Silver Lake in October during early stages of the take-private conversations.

Towards the end of last week, Icahn used Twitter for the first time.

On Thursday the inveterate corporate raider tweeted: Twitter is great. I like it almost as much as I like Dell.