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Carl Icahn proposes alternative to $24.4B Dell buyout deal

The activist investor has teamed up with Southeastern Asset Management to offer an alternative to the current offer.

Dell Round Rock HQ
Dell's Round Rock, Texas, headquarters. Dell

Investor Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management have teamed up to offer an alternative to the $24.4 billion buyout deal now before the company's stockholders.

The pair -- two of the computer maker's largest shareholders -- have proposed giving stockholders the option of holding on to their stock in the company and take an additional $12 a share in cash or stock, according to The Wall Street Journal and CNBC.

CNET has contacted Dell for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

The proposal, reportedly made in a letter to Dell's board of directors Thursday evening, comes less than a month after private-equity firm Blackstone Group withdrew its bid for the computer maker that was launched after Dell announced in February its plans to take the company private via a $24.4 billion buyout.

Blackstone submitted a tentative offer to buy the company after Dell announced in February its plans to take the company private via a $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share, buyout by its founder and CEO Michael Dell, who owns about 14 percent of Dell's common shares, and the private equity firm Silver Lake. Microsoft also kicked in a $2 billion loan toward the buyout.

However, since that time other investors have argued the deal undervalues the company. Icahn is one such investor who has been critical of Dell for its plan to transform itself from a publicly traded company into a privately held one. In March, he entered into a confidentiality agreement with Dell that gives him the ability to get a closer look at Dell's financial records and deal directly with the company's board.

Icahn, who opposes the company's plan to go private, had previously offered a more complicated deal that includes Dell receiving a $2 billion investment from Icahn and his company, Icahn Enterprises. Dell would also be forced to take on $5.2 billion in new debt. Dell shareholders could either remain shareholders of the surviving company, or cash out at $15 per share.