Dell board weighs competing takeover offers, report says

Things have gotten complicated for the PC maker with a pair of last-minute preliminary proposals, one from asset management firm Blackstone Group and the other from activist investor Carl Icahn.

Dell Round Rock HQ building 3

PC maker Dell has a competition on its hands to see who'll take over the company.

Until this weekend, a group led by founder Michael Dell had seemed to have things mostly sewn up with their $24.4 billion plan for putting an end to the Texas-based company's days as a publicly traded entity.

But now things have apparently gotten more complicated for Dell's board of directors. Reuters is reporting today, citing a source, that a special board committee is evaluating a pair of last-minute preliminary proposals , one from asset management firm Blackstone Group and the other from activist investor Carl Icahn, who has been voicing criticism of the go-private plan for a while now.

Icahn's offer is for $15 a share for 58 percent of Dell, while Blackstone is offering better than $14.25 a share for an unspecified percentage of the company, according to Reuters. The $24 billion bid by Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake (with a $2 billion loan from Microsoft) to take the company private, announced in February, works out to $13.65 per share.

The Dell-Silver Lake offer would give Michael Dell a majority stake and provide him a chance to set a new direction for the company he founded, but the other bids could well jeopardize that leadership role, according to both Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.

A public statement on the rival bids and whether they might prove superior to the Dell-Silver Lake bid could come as early as tomorrow, or the committee may decide to take more time with the matter, Reuters' source said. The news agency described the advent of the competing offers as unusual and unexpected, and perhaps a turning point that could drag out the proceedings for months.


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