May 11, 2013

Billionaire pitches deal to prevent Dell from becoming private

By TOM MURPHY The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

Michael Dell, Carl Icahn
click image to enlarge

Carl Icahn, right, has launched a challenge to Michael Dell’s plan to take his company private.

The Associated Press

"It's amazing what can be done once you do change the leadership," he said.

PC sales have been declining as people delay replacing desktop and laptop computers and spend money instead on smartphones and tablet computers.

Michael Dell believes he can turn around the company by diversifying into more profitable niches such as business software, data storage and consulting. The company founder wants to do this without worrying about Wall Street's fixation on short-term results.

But Southeastern and Icahn said in their letter that all company shareholders should benefit from a turnaround, not just Michael Dell. They said the company can rein in costs and can expand beyond its core business. They also noted that the company has growth potential in emerging markets like China, India and Brazil.

"We truly believe the best days for Dell are yet to come and the company has a tremendous opportunity to build on its strong platform," the letter states.

Icahn told CNBC that while the personal computer business is declining "Dell is not just a PC company."

Major shareholders started expressing their unhappiness with Michael Dell's offer shortly after the company announced it in early February. Dell has said in regulatory filings that 25 lawsuits have been filed challenging the proposed buyout, a few of which have already been voluntarily dismissed.


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