Dell shareholder Yacktman backs Icahn buyout proposal

Tue Jul 9, 2013 2:26pm EDT

Shadows of Michael Dell, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Dell, are cast under the company logo as he speaks during a press briefing in Tokyo March 24, 2009. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Shadows of Michael Dell, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Dell, are cast under the company logo as he speaks during a press briefing in Tokyo March 24, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

(Reuters) - Dell Inc shareholder Yacktman Asset Management threw its support behind Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management's buyout proposal for the PC maker.

Yacktman, which holds 14.8 million shares of Dell, said it believes Dell founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell's $24.4 billion buyout offer is depressing the stock.

"A change in the board of directors could significantly improve this and other issues and lead to enhanced shareholder value," Yacktman said in statement on Tuesday.

While Yacktman's support could bolster Icahn's plan, the firm's stake in Dell is only about 0.85 percent, and is not enough to make a material difference on its own.

Dell is at the center of a battle, with Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake on one side, and Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management on the other.

Icahn and Southeastern's proposal would see shareholders tender 1.1 billion shares at $14 each. For that bid to be put to a vote, shareholders must reject Michael Dell's proposal and then elect a new slate of directors put up by Icahn.

Michael Dell and Silver Lake want to take the company private at $13.65 per share. On Monday, they gained a key backer in shareholder advisory firm ISS, which recommended their bid.

ISS said Michael Dell's offer "transfers the risk of the deteriorating PC business and the company's ongoing business transformation to the buyout group."

Icahn and Southeastern said they disagree with the ISS recommendation and would vote against Michael Dell's buyout offer.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York and Poornima Gupta in San Francisco; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, John Wallace and Bernard Orr)

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Comments (1)
DRHall wrote:
A variety of small investors are going to attempt to support Icahn to make it sound good and to attempt to ingratiate themselves to Icahn. But I think Mr. Dell has a good chance to keep the firm going and possibly improve. But the big problem is still to get more people employed here in the US. Mr. Dell could start to quit outsourcing his jobs to else where and have all that done in the US at decent wages and then a few more people could afford to buy more of these products. In fact if all of these companies would pull back all of these outsourced jobs to the US and pay decent wages for the work; then a lot more people could buy more goods for their families and get off of welfare and to pay more taxes and get companies to pay their proper share of the taxes and our economy would start to improve and get stabilized and build from their. This outsourcing has been a total failure as it has brought on a very significant recession and a lot of lawbreaking by these companies.

Jul 10, 2013 1:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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