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Dell Says Shareholder-Advisory Firms Reiterated Deal Support

Dell Inc., seeking investor support to take the personal-computer maker private at $13.88 a share, said its latest offer has received renewed backing of the top three shareholder-advisory firms.

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., Glass, Lewis & Co. and Egan-Jones Ratings Co. have all put out reports reiterating their endorsement of the buyout, Dell said in a statement today. Company founder Michael Dell and partner Silver Lake Management LLC sweetened their offer to $13.88 last month by adding an extra dividend of 13 cents.

Dell, who serves as chairman and chief executive officer, is pushing to take the PC maker private so he can execute a turnaround plan outside the spotlight of public markets. He’s seeking to transform the business into a bigger provider of technology and services for corporate-data centers, following years of slumping PC sales.

Dell shares were unchanged at $13.77 at today’s close in New York. The stock has climbed 36 percent this year on news of the proposal to take the company private.

Shareholders will convene on Sept. 12 at Dell’s Round Rock, Texas, headquarters to vote on the buyout. It’s the fourth such scheduled meeting -- the previous three were adjourned amid procedural steps by CEO Dell, Silver Lake and the special committee of Dell’s board managing the process.

The Silver Lake-led group sweetened its offer on Aug. 2, and guaranteed payment of the company’s third-quarter dividend by the time the deal closes.

The moves swayed investors including Franklin Mutual Advisers to BlackRock Inc. to support the deal. The vote next week would effectively mark the end of a saga that’s stretched out for most of this year as Dell tried to win support for his buyout against opposition by financier Carl Icahn and other dissident shareholders.

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