updated 03:49 pm EDT, Wed July 24, 2013
Increase provisional on rule change, offer still less than Icahn's
Dell founder Michael Dell has made a slight increase in his bid to take the company private -- assuming the committee overseeing the process changes the voting rules. The CEO is proposing a $0.10 per share increase to $13.75, assuming that the committee removes the restriction that shareholders who abstain from the vote are no longer counted as "no" votes.
According to sources contacted by Reuters, the committee is seeking at least $14 per share to consider a change in the voting terms. Michael Dell's investment parner for the deal, Silver Lake is reportedly unwilling to support an increase to $14 per share. Partially as a result of the offer, the shareholder's meeting has been postponed again, this time until August 2.
Michael Dell and Silver Lake commented on the increase and the reasoning behind it, saying that "according to our latest tally, approximately 27 percent of the unaffiliated shares have not yet been voted. The presumption that these shares should be treated as if they had voted against the transaction is patently unfair. The will of the majority of the unaffiliated shares voting on the transaction should not be thwarted by an unfair standard that counts unaffiliated shares not voting as "no" votes."
An anonymous shareholder told Reuters that "this is not about how to win the deal, this is about how Michael Dell exits the process. They're really putting the screws on the special committee but I don't see how the special committee can accept the conditions."
Opposing force leader Carl Icahn tweeted a response earlier today, poetically reiterating previous sentiments about the process saying that "all would be swell at Dell if Michael and the board bid farewell." He promised a statement, presumably more formally delivered, later today.