Billionaire investor had been trying to stop buyout of PC maker

Icahn gives up on controlling Dell, says company is ‘undervalued’

Carl Icahn has given up on his attempts to control Dell Inc., opening the way for the computer manufacturer to go private.

The billionaire investor made the announcement in an open letter addressed to Dell shareholders, while continuing to state that “the price being paid by [Dell founder] Michael Dell/Silver Lake to purchase our company greatly undervalues it”.

Dell and its partner Silver Lake Management LLC last month attempted to attract buyers by adding a dividend of 13 cents to an already increased $13.75 share price.

Icahn’s statement said that the price was still 70 per cent below Dell’s ten-year stock high of $42.38.

Despite his criticism, Icahn said of the move: “While we are course saddened at 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.’”

Dell’s proposal of a buyout in February received counteroffers from Icahn and private-equity firm Blackstone Group back in March, who were said to have offered up to $15 a share. Dell rejected both.

Dell’s shareholders will meet on the 12th September to vote on the buyout. The meeting, which will take place at Dell’s Round Rock headquarters in Texas, is the fourth such gathering, following three that were previously adjourned.

Icahn, meanwhile, has been in discussions with the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, about a stock buyback plan, following Icahn’s reveal last month that he owned a large stake in Apple. Icahn’s tweet about the buyback discussions resulted in Apple’s shares increasing by six per cent.

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