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Michael Dell, Silver Lake Decide Not To Increase Buyout Offer For Dell: Reports

Michael Dell, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dell Inc. (DELL: Quote), and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners have decided not to increase their $24.4 billion offer to take the company private, according to several reports, citing people familiar with the matter.

However, the special committee of Dell's board was not informed any such decision had been made, the reports said.

Mr. Dell and Silver Lake are ruling out an increase in offer price due to the $13.65 per share offer they made in February represents a fair and significant premium to where the stock would trade if the deal fell apart, the reports said quoting the people.

Friday's 2.10% drop to $13.03, the lowest level since Mr. Dell's planned $24.4 billion buyout was first announced, came ahead of a key weekend for the deal when at least one influential shareholder advisory firm was expected to issue its recommendation to shareholders.

The buyout group is not confident it will earn a positive recommendation from proxy-advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. and believes a slight bump in price may not be enough to overcome a negative view from ISS, the reports said citing one of the people.

Dell also said in a regulatory filing on Friday that there's a "substantial downside risk" to shareholders if they reject Michael Dell's transaction. The $13.65 per share offer implies a premium to Dell shares, based on Hewlett-Packard Co.(HPQ: Quote).

On Monday, Activist investor Carl Icahn said that he raised $5.2 billion to finance his plan to recapitalize struggling personal computer maker Dell and urged the special committee of the company's board to hold a direct, face to face meeting with him.

Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management are trying to block Mr. Dell and Silver Lake Partner's $24.4 billion bid to take the company private.

At May-end, Dell's special committee had unanimously recommended that stockholders vote to approve the company's merger deal with Michael Dell and Silver Lake, at a special meeting of stockholders to be held on July 18. The deal was initially agreed in February.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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