Dell Inc shareholders are to vote July 18 on
whether a buyout offer proposed by the founder of the Texas-based
company, Michael Dell, and an investment group, should go forward,
the company said Friday.
The company agreed this year to be taken private by Dell and Silver Lake Management, a consortium of private equity companies, but a battle over the 24.4-billion-dollar leveraged buyout ensued after it was challenged by activist shareholder Carl Icahn and his allies.
Dell and Silver Lake offered 13.65 dollars a share for Dell, 25 per cent above the company's share price before it was reported that the company was in talks to go private.
Dell recommended his offer be accepted after no better offer was submitted, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing cited by Bloomberg News. A majority of shareholders, excluding Dell, who owns 15.6 per cent of the company's stock, would have to approve the buyout for it to pass, according to the deal's terms.
Icahn and his partners own almost 13 per cent of Dell shares. Their proposal would fund a buyout using existing cash at the personal-computer maker and about 5.2 billion dollars in new debt.
An ongoing slump in PC sales has taken a toll on Dell, the world's third-largest PC maker. It reported a 79-per-cent year-on-year plunge in first-quarter profits this month to 130 million dollars. Sales dipped 2 per cent to 14.1 billion dollars.
Dell's earnings and sales are in decline amid a shift in demand to smartphones and tablets. The company is seeking to turn itself around by accelerating its shift towards selling more products and services for corporate data centres.
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