American business magnate Carl Icahn has signed a confidentiality agreement to review Dell‘s financial records and further evaluate the bid for a $24 billion leveraged buyout to take the company private.
With news circulating about Icahn’s involvement, Dell shares rose one percent this morning to $14.30.
The Dell privatization saga has experienced twists and turns with shareholders stepping up to fight the sale. Icahn announced last week he would buy six percent of the company.
The activist investor has sided with shareholders, including Southeastern Asset Management and T Rowe Price who opposed the terms of the deal, in arguing that the buyout “significantly undervalues” the world’s third largest computer maker.
A special committee on the board has said it would welcome Icahn’s input on the sale process.
In a letter to Dell’s board, Icahn took a stand against CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Management’s plan to go private at $13.65 a share. He proposed instead that Dell pay shareholders a special dividend of $9 per share in a combination of cash on hand and additional debt.
Evercore Partners, a Dell advisor, has been running a “go shop” process. According to Bloomberg, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo have both taken advantage of the buy-out talks in order to get a look at Dell’s books but are unlikely to make a bid.
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