Southeastern Asset Management
laid down its sword after fighting the good fight with activist investor Carl Icahn
founder Michael Dell
in his crusade to take Dell private.
Dan Primack assesses what this means for Southeastern Asset Management in terms of money lost or gained in the boardroom fight. The firm sold shares at a discount to the $13.65 per share buyout offer, thinking Icahn would be in a better negotiating position with the additional shares, Primack said.
Icahn did get the buyout offer raised to $13.75 and a $0.13 special dividend but the battle to control Dell was lost, Primack writes, and the firm would have been able to net $2 billion from the original buyout plan if it had held on to all of the shares moving into the second quarter.
Southeastern Asset Management broke even, Primack reports, but he mentions to caveats. Icahn may have been able to force Dell's hand without those shares and Dell is an "overall loser" for the firm as it paid $2.43 billion for its original position.
The firm released this statement
following the vote:
"While we continue to oppose the Michael Dell/Silver Lake freeze-out transaction, given the new record date, the new stockholder base, the modified voting standard and the Board's refusal to combine the Annual Meeting and Special Meeting, Southeastern and Icahn will not pursue additional efforts to defeat the transaction. Though we continue to believe that out proposal is superior to the Michael Dell/Silver Lake transaction, we are pleased that out efforts contributed to the modest increase in merger consideration Dell stockholders will receive."
According to Associated Press'
Bree Fowler, the meeting lasted only 15 minutes, included near 100 people in attendance and ended with light applause. Fowler reports that the deal is expected to be completed in about two months. The result did not appear to come as a surprise, as Icahn dropped his opposition on Monday, saying it would be "almost impossible" to defeat the vote, Fowler writes.
The Wall Street Journal's
Ben Fox Rubin, David Benoit and Shira Ovide reported the buyout had 65 percent support, according to one source.
Poornima Gupta writes that the deal should assuage customers who have been uncertain of Dell's direction. The company reported a 72 percent slide in quarterly earnings in August, Gupta reports.
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