Remember what Michael Dell said when he was asked back in 1997 — when Steve Jobs returned to Apple — what he’d do if he were Jobs?
“I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.”
Time wounds all heels, I guess. Now Dell might just be finding himself in a roughly similar situation, as Dell Computer has fallen on hard times and high-flying financial vulture Carl Icahn has bought up to six percent of the company with a simple goal: cashing out.
According to CNBC, insiders familiar with the deal said that Icahn will oppose Dell’s leveraged buyout of his company and push for a significant one-time dividend to all shareholders.
Dell shares, which have languished in the $8 range for much of the last six months, are up to $14 this year in response to Dell’s buyout offer – which may include participation by Microsoft – and jumped up another two percent today on the news:
Dell’s largest shareholder, which owns about 8.5 percent of the company, is reportedly against the buyout and may therefore find common cause with Icahn.
The company reported better-than-expected results in the last quarter of 2012, with $14.31 billion in sales, cash flow of $1.4 billion, and earnings of $0.40 per share.