Icahn, Southeastern reveal board nominees as Dell seeks more info

Mon May 13, 2013 7:48pm EDT
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By Greg Roumeliotis

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Dell Inc's special committee asked Carl Icahn for details on his plan to make the computer maker pay dividends and issue shares rather than sell itself to its founder, as the activist investor unveiled candidates for a new board.

Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management Inc, his ally in a battle with founder Michael Dell over the future of the world's No. 3 PC maker, on Monday put forward 12 Dell board of director candidates, including Icahn himself.

Last week, Icahn and Southeastern offered $12 in cash per share or additional shares to existing investors as an alternative to Michael Dell's $24.4 billion bid to take the company private. And the billionaire investor warned that if his leveraged recapitalization proposal was rejected, he would rally shareholders to vote down the Dell founder's offer and put up his own roster of candidates for the board.

Icahn's plan assumes that as much as 80 percent of the company's shareholding will opt for a cash payout, translating into a maximum outlay of $16.8 billion.

Michael Dell, major shareholders such as Southeastern and Icahn are waging a battle over the future of the company, once a tech-industry high flyer but now struggling to evolve as people embrace smartphones and tablet computers.

Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake want to take the company private for $13.65 per share, but stockholders, including Southeastern and T. Rowe Price Group Inc, have complained that offer severely undervalues the company.

Instead, Icahn and Southeastern, two of Dell's biggest investors, proposed to give stockholders $12 cash or shares for every share they own, as well as allow them to keep their stock.

The alternate board proposed by the two groups includes Bernard Lanigan Jr., chief executive of Southeast Asset Advisors: Rahul Merchant, New York City's chief information officer, and Jonathan Christodoro, managing director at Icahn Capital.   Continued...

A company logo of Dell is seen on the cover of its laptop at a Dell outlet in Hong Kong October October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Bobby Yip