Billionaire Investor Carl Icahn Drops Campaign to Derail Dell's Takeover Bid
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Billionaire investor Carl Icahn was mad as hell and wasn't going to take it anymore. Until today, that is.
In a letter to the SEC, Icahn said he is officially giving up his campaign to defeat Michael Dell's effort along with buyout firm Silver Lake Partners to purchase the computer company he founded and take it private. Icahn opposed Dell's bid for Dell Inc. -- which was recently upped to $24.6 billion -- because he believes it undervalues the company.
In his letter, Icahn said that he had determined it would be "almost impossible" to influence any outcome other than the company's board voting in favor of Dell's bid on September 12. "We have therefore come to the conclusion that we will not pursue additional efforts to defeat the Michael Dell/Silver Lake proposal, although we still oppose it and will move to seek appraisal rights," the letter says.
Earlier this summer, Icahn and another Dell investor, Southeastern Asset Management, formulated a rival offer that would see shareholders tender 1.1 billion shares at $14 per share -- more than Dell and Silver Lake's initial bid which they eventually sweetened to $24.6 billion in July. "While we of course are saddened at our losing the battle to control Dell, it certainly makes the loss a lot more tolerable in that as a result of our involvement, Michael Dell/Silver Lake increased what they said was their 'best and final offer,'" Icahn's letter says.
In an odd twist, Icahn -- who has been active on Twitter recently tweeting about his support for tech giant Apple -- also used the SEC letter as a way to recruit additional Twitter followers.
"If you are incensed by the actions of the Dell Board as much as I am, I hope you will choose to follow me on Twitter where from time to time I give my investment insights," Icahn said in the letter. "I also intend to point out what I consider to be unconscionable actions by boards and discuss what remedies shareholders may take to change the situation."