Dell's largest independent shareholder is turning up the pressure against a proposed $US24.4 billion ($A23.93 billion) sale of the struggling personal computer maker to a group of investors that includes its CEO.
Southeastern Asset Management has demanded that Dell Inc provide a list of the company's other stockholders. Obtaining that information could help Southeastern rally support for a shareholder mutiny to block the deal.
Dell said it would review Southeastern's request, received in a letter on Tuesday.
Dell's board of directors last month announced plans to sell the company to founder and CEO Michael Dell and others led by investment firm Silver Lake for $13.65 per share.
The sale would end Dell's 25-year history as a publicly traded company and enable Michael Dell to attempt to engineer a turnaround without having to cater to Wall Street's desire for higher profits from one quarter to the next.
Southeastern contends Dell is giving its CEO a bargain that will deprive long-time shareholders of the opportunity to share in a potential upturn in the company's performance.
The investment firm, which owns an 8.4 per cent stake in Dell, says the company is worth closer to $24 per share. Dell's stock hasn't traded at that level since Michael Dell returned for a second stint as CEO more than six years ago.
Michael Dell is contributing a 14 per cent stake in the company to help finance the proposed buyout, which will consist primarily of debt.
Dell Inc said its shareholders were being fairly compensated at $13.65 per share while also being insulated from future risks as the company tries to lessen its dependence on the slumping personal computer market and expand into the more profitable technology sectors of business software, data analysis and storage and consulting.Investors are betting Michael Dell and his backers will either raise their offer or another bidder will up the ante. Dell's stock gained seven cents on Tuesday to close at $14.07.
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