Carl Icahn, the activist investor who is trying to derail a $24.4 billion leveraged buyout of Dell Inc., urged the special board committee considering the deal to hold a shareholder vote tomorrow as scheduled.
“We think that –- after six months –- the time for soliciting is over,” Icahn and two Southeastern Asset Management Inc. executives wrote in a letter to the committee that was distributed in a statement. “It’s time to vote. Do not move election day again. This is not a banana republic.”
Dell founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Management LLC have offered $13.65 a share to take the personal-computer maker private. A vote on the deal that was originally scheduled for July 18 was adjourned and set for tomorrow. Icahn’s letter today addressed a New York Post report that Dell may delay the vote again as it seeks to gain more time to persuade shareholders to approve the buyout.
In the open letter, also signed by Southeastern’s Mason Hawkins and Staley Cates, Icahn called the company’s board “unconscionable” and charged Chief Executive Officer Dell with employing “scare tactics” to obtain shareholder votes.
The letter is Icahn’s latest jab in the six-month fight over the struggling PC maker. The billionaire, who owns an 8.7 percent stake in Dell, has pushed for months for the founder to raise his bid and has offered his own proposal. Icahn’s rival offer of $14 would allow Dell shareholders to retain equity in a publicly traded portion of the company, plus a warrant that could be exchanged for additional stock should Dell climb higher than $20.