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Dell committee to Icahn: Show us the money

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Dell's special committee has asked Carl Icahn and his investment partner Southeastern Asset Management for a bit more info on their plan to thwart Mike Dell's bid to take the firm private, while Icahn suggests himself for the board.

The committee, set up to look into Mike Dell's offer to take his company private for $24.4bn with the help of private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, said yesterday that it had asked Icahn and Southeastern for clarification on their plan to have the firm pay dividends and issue shares instead.

Last week, the Dell shareholders proposed giving $12 per share in cash or stocks to existing investors, rather than letting Mike Dell take the firm private.

"The Special Committee is seeking clarifications and additional materials from the Icahn and Southeastern entities in order to evaluate their non-binding proposal," it said in a filing with the SEC.

"While the Special Committee continues to oversee its process, we remain focused on our customers and on providing innovative products and solutions to help them succeed and better compete in the marketplace," it added.

The committee is looking for details of how Icahn and Southeastern will: finance their proposal; provide money in the form of working capital for Dell to use; and who they would want to form the senior management team at the firm after the transaction, among others.

Icahn and Southeastern already have some ideas about who they want at the top of Dell, proposing that Icahn himself should get a seat on the board. They also reckon that Jonathan Christodoro, MD at Icahn Capital, and Icahn Enterprises president Daniel Ninivaggi would be good picks, along with Bernard Lanigan, the chief exec of Southeast Asset Advisors. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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