Carl Icahn has said he is open to a partnership with Blackstone Group in a move that could make it easier for the rival investors to overtake Michael Dell’s $24.4 billion buyout bid for the company he founded, reports Reuters. This means Michael Dell could also potentially lose control of the PC maker he founded when he was 19.
This development comes a day after it was revealed that Icahn and Blackstone had made separate bids for Dell that valued the company at more than Michael Dell’s original offer, which was made in partnership with the Silver Lake Group. Negotiations could potentially go on for a month. Icahn, who owns a $1 billion stake in Dell, said on Monday that he has started discussions with Blackstone. The billionaire investor has offered $15 per share for 58 percent of Dell, while Blackstone said it can pay more than $14.25 per share. Michael Dell and the Silver Lake Group had offered $13.65 per share.
Michael Dell will meet up with Blackstone to discuss its bid, reported Reuters. The private equity group has already unsuccessfully tried to convince Oracle Corp president Mark Hurd to run Dell if it buys the company.
Several major investors have voiced their opposition to Michael Dell and Silver Lake’s offer, claiming it undervalues the company. Southeastern Asset Management, Dell’s largest shareholder with 8.5 percent of shares outstanding and a vocal opponent of Michael Dell and Silver Lake’s offer, has said it is pleased with the terms of the new proposals offered by Icahn and Blackstone. Earlier this month Southeastern Asset asked Dell’s board of directors to disclose a full list of shareholders in a move to shore up its resistance to Michael Dell’s bid.
Another point of contention had been taking the company private. Both Icahn and Blackstone Group have said that their proposals would allow investors to retain publicly traded shares of Dell.