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Big Mike shoots email to Dell staff: My backers and I are your best bet

Founder tries to drum up support for takeover bid

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Michael Dell has told employees at the struggling firm that he's "passionately committed" to getting his $24.9bn leveraged buyout deal through the shareholder vote and using R&D and acquisitions to become a more competitive firm.

In an email to staff, also filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Big Mike said that the company needs to "change quickly" if it wants to have any hope of recovering some of its lost ground in the market.

"Dell needs to transform, and we need to do it quickly. The technology landscape has fundamentally changed since the company was founded, and success requires this transformation," he said.

"As a private company in partnership with Silver Lake, I believe we can accelerate Dell’s transformation, sacrificing short-term gains for long-term competitiveness and profitability. Silver Lake and I share a long-term vision and have the financial strength to endure the risks of the transformation and the likely near-term adverse effects on earnings," he insisted.

Dell the man is still trying to drum up support for his offer to take the firm private, which is subject to a shareholder vote that has already been postponed three times and is now due to take place on 12 September.

A number of shareholders are opposed to the founder's bid, which they have said doesn't value the firm highly enough. Activist investor Carl Icahn and his partner Southeastern Asset Management have submitted a rival plan for the company and are also trying to put a stop to Dell in the courts.

Dell said that he still thinks his offer is the best one for the company.

"I believe that the offer delivers full and fair value for stockholders... Importantly, the revised transaction also enables us to enact the will of the majority of voting stockholders," he claimed.

Meanwhile, another influential investor opponent of Mike Dell's bid, T Rowe Price Associates, has reportedly reduced its stake in the firm to 2.8 per cent from the four per cent it held at the end of March.

Sources whispered to Reuters that T Rowe, which used to be the fourth-largest shareholder in Dell, had cut its holdings to 49 million stocks from nearly 72 million at the end of the first quarter. ®

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