An anonymous reader writes "Just as Carl Icahn's months-long, high-profile bid for control of Dell seemed to have run its course, came the announcement that Dell's board had postponed a shareholder's vote on the bid from Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners, to take private the company that Dell had started in a University of Texas dorm room twenty nine years ago. The postponement indicated that Dell was not confident that their $24.4 billion ($13.65 per share) deal had the necessary votes. Icahn and his main ally, Southeastern Asset Management, claim that the proposed deal undervalues the company and its upside potential; Icahn's latest proposal is to keep the company public, but to offer $14 per share plus upside warrants, for every share tendered by stockholders. The latest wrinkle is apparent tension within the Dell/Silver Lake team; Silver Lake reportedly feels entitled to the $450 million buyout fee specified in the deal's language, if any alternative bid from Icahn succeeds within a year; Dell and the board feel that Silver Lake would only be entitled to expenses in that case, perhaps amounting to a few tens of millions USD. The Bloomberg story also reports that Michael Dell has at times been unable to reach his Silver Lake counterpart (a longtime friend) on the phone to discuss possibly sweetening the bid."
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