May 31 - Dell sets July 18th as the day owners of 1.75 billion in outstanding shares get to choose between offers from founder Michael Dell and activist shareholder Carl Icahn. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Your Daily Digit today is 1.75 billion…. That's the amount of Dell's outstanding shares. Their owners will sew up Dell's future at a special meeting on July 18th. They're already getting some ideas on how to vote. One just came from Dell's board. The board now recommends shareholders support the $24.4 billion buyout offer led by founder and chief executive Michael Dell. Why? The board members say it's the best alternative available, and, as they put it, in a challenging business environment, it offers certainty and a very material premium over pre-announcement trading prices. But Dell's shareholders have another option. Earlier this month, Dell's largest independent shareholder, activist investor Carl Icahn launched a $21 billion counter offer that would allow shareholders to keep their stakes in the company. Icahn is not expected to go quietly -he already warned that if his proposal was rejected -he would urge shareholders to reject Michael Dell's offer.