Watch Out, Michael Dell — Shareholders are Angry

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Michael Dell, founder and chief executive of the namesake company, secured a $13.65 per-share deal to take the computer manufacturer private. The valuation may be agreeable to Michael Dell, but many shareholders have found the terms of the deal to be unacceptable. In fact, they are fighting back.

Dell’s (NASDAQ:DELL) largest independent shareholder — Southeastern Asset Management, which holds an 8.44 percent stake in the company — wrote a letter to the board announcing that it would oppose the buyout plan in its current form when brought to a vote. In the firm’s estimation, the company’s worth is close to $24 per share. According to The New York Times’ DealBook reporter Michael de la Merced, Southeastern said it would use a full range of tactics, including a proxy fight and lawsuits, to block what it termed an “ill-advised transaction.”

Southeastern disclosed in a regulatory filing made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on February 11 that it had retained D.F. King, a proxy solicitation firm, as an adviser. As The New York Times reported, the firm will be in an important asset in the fight to secure a better offer from Michael Dell. Proxy solicitors can survey a company’s investor base in order to determine how other shareholders are leaning. Sources told the publication that mergers and acquisitions lawyer Dennis J. Block of Greenberg Traurig was hired by Southeastern as well…

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