April 6 Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is
refusing to drop the option of a proxy fight to force Dell Inc
to pay a big dividend, in spite of the board committee's request
that he drop his threats and launch a formal bid for the
company, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Icahn had asked the board's special committee to be
reimbursed for the cost of his due diligence on Dell, a benefit
the committee has already granted to rival bidders Silver Lake
Partners and Blackstone Group LP.
In its response to Icahn on Friday, the committee said it
would consider Icahn's request to cover the cost of his expenses
for discovery, but only if he would drop his rights to a proxy
fight and threats of "years of litigation."
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Icahn said he
is considering a range of options, including his earlier
proposal for a dividend, which would necessitate a proxy fight,
as well as his preliminary bid to buy up to 58 percent of the
company. Icahn holds a $1 billion stake in Dell, the No. 3 maker
of personal computers.
"No matter how much they are willing to pay to reimburse me
I'm not going to give up the right to put in a bid that I think
will be compelling to shareholders, even if the board doesn't
like it," Icahn told the paper.
Blackstone and Icahn separately made preliminary proposals
in late March that, if finalized, could be superior to the $24.4
billion offer on the table from founder Michael Dell and private
equity firm Silver Lake Partners LP.
Blackstone will visit Dell's headquarters on Monday to begin
an in-depth analysis, a sign the buyout firm is proceeding with
an offer, sources told Reuters on Thursday.