Carl Icahn is continuing his quest
to take a part in the future of Dell, or at least make a hefty profit off the effort the company is making to go private. The investor is refusing to rule out the possibility of a proxy fight to compel Dell to pay a large dividend to shareholders, despite the board's request that he cease the threat and make a formal bid for the company.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal
, Icahn confirmed that he had several options for the company, including the dividend proposal. He has also made an initial bid to purchase 58 percent of the company. "No matter how much they are willing to pay to reimburse me I'm not going to give up the right to put in a bid that I think will be compelling to shareholders, even if the board doesn't like it," Icahn said in the interview.
Icahn has previously demanded Dell pay $15.7 billion in special dividends above the buyout price, or risk a proxy fight. Icahn's proposed dividend of $9 per share represents a 67 percent premium to existing shareholders above the current $13.65 offer
on the table for the leveraged buyout proposed by Michael Dell, Microsoft, and investment company Silver Lake.
The existing privatization deal requires the majority of the shareholders (not including Michael Dell's shares) to vote in favor of the payout. Southeastern Asset Management, another vocal opponent of the buyout, would lose at least $825 million if the deal completes. Dell has dramatically cut its forecasts for 2013 operating profit by $700 million to $3 billion, casting further shadows over any deal.