Dell Deal Gets New Backing

Jul 9 2013 | 12:24pm ET

Two more proxy advisory firms have come out in favor of the $24.4 billion private-equity-backed buyout of Dell Inc.

Egan-Jones Proxy Services and Glass Lewis & Co. yesterday echoed Institutional Shareholder Services' endorsement of the deal, giving it further momentum in advance of the July 18 voting deadline.

Glass Lewis called the proposal, led by company founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, "fair and acceptable," and said that the special committee of Dell's board handling the sale had "put forth a compelling argument" in favor of the deal. Egan-Jones cited Dell's deteriorating finances and noted that Dell and Silver Lake were not likely to increase their offer.

Egan-Jones also criticized the deal's most prominent opponents, Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management, writing that their proposal for a $14 billion share buyback program would add debt and limit Dell's financial flexibility.

In response to ISS's support for the buyout, announced earlier yesterday than the other proxy firm's, Icahn and Southeastern said that the advisory's report "did not appear to address fair value for Dell's stockholders." Dell is said to be bracing for a new move by the two, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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