Icahn Sweetens Dell Share Buyback Plan As Deadline Nears

Jul 12 2013 | 3:09am ET

Whether or not he succeeds in derailing the $24.4 billion leveraged buyout of Dell Inc., you've got to admire Carl Icahn's tenacity.

The hedge fund billionaire has launched a number of frontal assaults on the deal, led by Dell founder Michael Dell and private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners. Already this week, he's urged Dell shareholders to exercise their appraisal rights in an effort to force Dell and Silver Lake to increase their offer. Now, he's announced that he'll improve his own offer to Dell shareholders—provided they reject the buyout and then elect his representatives to its board.

Icahn has already proposed a $14-per-share buyback plan. Now, he says, he'll add a warrant to that plan that will trigger if Dell shares rebound and reach "around $20."

"That will make it definitely superior," Icahn said. "We think, after talking to a number of shareholders, that this should win the day for us."

Dell and Silver Lake are offering $13.65 per share.

Icahn's latest moves come after three major proxy-advisory services, somewhat unexpectedly, urged shareholders to vote in favor of the Dell-Silver Lake offer. Shareholders have until July 18 to cast their proxies.

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