updated 09:11 pm EDT, Mon March 18, 2013
No offer on the table as of yet, Icahn has worked with Blackstone previously
According to a report on Bloomberg, the Blackstone Group -- a rival to Silver Lake Partners -- is planning a competitive bid for Dell. Under the "go-shop" provision of the buyout deal floated by Silver Lake and investors (including Michael Dell himself), Dell's board of directors has through March 22 to seek better offers for the companies, and can still negotiate with suitors past that date if it receives a serious offer.
Neither Carl Icahn -- who has looked at Dell's financial information under nondisclosure -- nor Blackstone have made an offer to the board as of yet, according to sources familiar with the matter. Icahn has promised to start a proxy fight for control of the company if his proposal of a dividend payout to shareholders in conjunction with SilverLake's offer is refused.
"If you fail to agree promptly to combine the vote, we anticipate years of litigation will follow -- challenging the transaction and the actions of the directors that participated in it," claimed Icahn in a letter to the board of directors and companies proposing the deal last week. To expedite the payment, Icahn offered a $3.25 billion dollar loan, plus $2 billion of financing for the dividend, assuming Icahn's candidates for the board of directors are elected.
The privatization deal requires the majority of the shareholders (not including Michael Dell's shares) to vote in favor of the payout. Icahn's six percent share, if coupled with the coalition against the deal now, brings up the known opposition to the deal at 20 percent of the total -- nearly half what would be required to defeat the deal.