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Dell Again Postpones Vote with a Cheap 10-Cent Shot

In the latest bid to salvage his offer to take the company he founded private, Michael Dell and his team of equity investors led by Silver Lake Partners sweetened their $24.4 billion offer by 10 cents a share, amounting to about $150 million. But tucked in with the drop-in-the-bucket increase to $13.75 per share is a rule change in the vote which this time wouldn't count votes that aren't tendered by proxy or in person.

As a result of the new offer and voting rule change, Dell postponed the shareholder vote for the second time -- the first adjournment occurred last Friday. Now the vote is scheduled for the morning of Aug. 2. Dell postponed last week's vote after it appeared evident he didn't have enough major shareholders on board to approve the deal.

Throughout the near six months since he first made the offer to take Dell private, Michael Dell's team has adamantly held firm with its price saying it would not budge despite a counteroffer from an investor team led by activist investor Carl Icahn, who vigorously opposes the Dell offer and has successfully rallied other shareholders to vote against it. The paltry 10-cent-per-share increase is the group's "best and final proposal," as asserted in a statement this morning. Clearly the sweetened bid looks like a cheap (relatively speaking) way to change the rules in their favor.

However CNBC is reporting the Dell special committee evaluating the offer has indicated it will not change the voting rules for a mere dime. If you've been waiting at the edge of your seat to see how this will play out, it seems you're going to have to wait a bit longer.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/24/2013 at 1:15 PM


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