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Shareholders' advisors back Big Mike's deal to take Dell private

Companies reckon the price is right and it takes PC pressures off the firm

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Dell continues to insist that founder Big Mike's offer to take the firm private is what's best for it, announcing today that proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), Glass Lewis and Egan Jones are all recommending it.

“We are pleased that all three of the nation’s leading proxy advisory firms have reiterated their support for the proposed sale transaction," the special committee said in a statement. "Each has conducted an independent review of the amended merger agreement and all of its terms and concluded, as has the Special Committee, that a sale of Dell for $13.88 per share in cash serves the best interests of Dell shareholders.”

The special committee, set up by the board to investigate Michael Dell's bid to pull the company off the open market, said last month that it liked the newly raised offer of $13.75 per share and a special dividend of 13 cents, despite the ongoing battle from activist shareholder Carl Icahn and his partner Southeastern Asset Management (SAM) to stop the deal.

Dell said that ISS was telling shareholders to go for the deal at the vote on 12 September because it was a good deal on the PC-maker's share price.

“A vote for this transaction is warranted as it offers a meaningful premium to the unaffected share price, provides certainty of value, and transfers the risk of the deteriorating PC business and the company’s on-going business transformation to the buyout group, while continuing to condition approval of the management buyout on the support of disinterested shareholders,” the advisory firm said.

The tide seems to be turning in Big Mike's direction, with Icahn turning his attention to his stake in Apple and SAM reportedly ditching almost half of its stock in Dell ahead of the shareholder vote. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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