Icahn: Our Dell offer is coming soon

May 31, 2013

FORTUNE -- Dell Inc.'s special committee today formally recommended the $13.65 per share buyout offer from Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, and announced that the shareholder vote will take place on July 18.

No big surprise there, given that there isn't actually another offer on the table yet. Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management -- which hold a combined stake of nearly 13% in Dell (dell) -- have said that the current offer is insufficient, and that they plan to propose a $12 per share deal that also includes stub equity.

But to date, Icahn and SAM have made a lot of noise without putting together a fully-financed offer. They also haven't identified key management hires, including who would replace CEO Michael Dell, which would matter a lot to holders of the public stub.

So do Icahn and SAM ever plan to actually put their words into action?

According to SAM, the answer is yes. This afternoon it released an open letter to Dell shareholders, asking them to "refrain from signing or returning... any proxy card sent to you by Dell." It also said that it will make its own proxy statement available to stockholders "in the near future."

The letter is not co-signed by Icahn, but he is name-checked repeatedly and Icahn has repeatedly acknowledged that the two are working together.

SAM's letter gives no explanation for the hold up, although one would imagine that it hasn't yet been able to cobble together the $5.2 billion debt package (which is being led by Jefferies).

So there you have it. There will be a rival bid for Dell "in the near future." In other words, this long saga isn't quite over yet...

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