Setback for Icahn in bid to halt Dell deal
Regional US court rules $4bn deal needs to be re-examined
investor Carl Icahn had hoped to head off a September 12th Dell special shareholders’ vote on a takeover proposal that the hedge fund billionaire and other major investors argue severely undervalues the company. Photograph: Reuters/Chip East
Activist investor Carl Icahn’s legal effort to derail a $25 billion takeover of Dell Inc stalled yesterday after a judge refused to fast-track his lawsuit against the company, an integral part of his months-long opposition campaign.
Delaware Court of Chancery judge Leo Strine waved off Icahn’s request to accelerate the lawsuit, dismissing claims that the company and its board wronged shareholders by accepting an undervalued offer from chief executive Michael Dell.
Mr Icahn had hoped to head off a September 12th special shareholders’ vote on a takeover proposal that the hedge fund billionaire and other major investors argue severely undervalues the company. He wanted the firm to hold its annual general meeting – at which he intends to try and replace the board – at the same time as the vote, hoping that would force the ceo to put his best and final offer on the table.
The broader conflict between ceo Mr Dell and Mr Icahn adds more uncertainty to a company that once ruled the global personal computer market, but is now trying to move into the relatively unfamiliar field of enterprise computing services as mobile devices pummel sales of computers and laptops.
Mr Icahn holds 8.9 per cent of Dell Inc, making him the second-largest shareholder behind Michael Dell, with about 16 per cent. – (Reuters)