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back to article Icahn sues Dell's board over Big Mike's buyout bid

Activist investor Carl Icahn and his affiliates have filed a legal complaint against Dell and its board members in his latest attempt to thwart Big Mike's efforts to regain control of the PC behemoth. Icahn filed in Delaware's Court of Chancery on a number of counts. One of these is a request for the court to to stop Michael …

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Why does this story get so much coverage?

It's like El Reg's prime time soap opera.

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Re: Why does this story get so much coverage?

Because a lot of people are interested in the fate of one of the largest hardware suppliers on the planet. I know we've got a substantial amount of money invested in Dell kit as I assume a lot of other readers of an IT focused site do...

If Ichan gets Dell he'll rip it and its staff into tiny little pieces. If Dell, the man, wins it is possible the company will stay afloat and be there for future purchases and support. Developing relationships with key vendors is not easy or cheap and the less you have to do it the better off you are.

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Pint

Re: Why does this story get so much coverage?

I find it interesting too as I wonder about how Wall street compared to being private affects a company and how it performs. Has this quarterly thinking affected long term planning. Will being private make a better Dell.

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Happy

Re: Why does this story get so much coverage?

@Lars

By going public on wall street you are making it easier to give your employees tangible bonuses based on performance of the company, and you are getting an infusion of cash.

BUT going public results in a LOT of extra financial overhead and predictions, a struggling company is better to be private because they get less negative press and unfortunately the "all press is good press" is really an Actor thing. a major company while they want people talking about them constant negative press make decision makers worried about investing long term in products. because people are not investing in the stocks.

Dell like BlackBerry would both be best private while they recover and redefine their place in the techspace. unfortunately it isn't an easy task.

Icahn is looking to make money off of Dell, he isn't looking to turn around the PC maker and run a brand he'll turn Dell profitable and sell off anything he doesn't think he can use.

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Nothing says pissy little girl

Well, like Carl Icahn, I suppose.

Do you think he gets stroppy and pissy if he loses at Monopoly or Risk ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nothing says pissy little girl

Sounds it.

Anon in case he wants to sue....

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Maybe its a little trite...

...but as a Dell shop if Icahn gets his way, I kind of want move away from Dell.

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Roo
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Re: Maybe its a little trite...

"...but as a Dell shop if Icahn gets his way, I kind of want move away from Dell."

I doubt that will bother the Icahn, his investors, his board, or the regulators that much. They are in the business of convincing people to give them money for nothing rather than delivering useful stuff to customers. If Icahn gets his way and keeps getting his way the US can look forward to replicating the UK's manufacturing 'success' story in a few years time.

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Re: Maybe its a little trite...

Upvoted, we are also a Dell shop and quite happy with the kit and pricing. A potential Icahn buyout has me nervous though, as we are entering discussions around an Active System solution to replace our aging infrastructure. I don't want to spend a million dollars on gear only to have half the product line sold off and run into the ground. Get on with the vote already!

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Unhappy

Re: Maybe its a little trite...

If Ichan gets his way you probably won't have much of a choice. There'll be nothing left but a brand if he gets it.

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Re: Maybe its a little trite...

>the US can look forward to replicating the UK's manufacturing 'success' story in a few years time.

Hate to tell you son but US companies were some of the first to move everything to the 3rd world. The only difference is scale so we still have some stuff left but not much.

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I think they are both in danger of destroying the company if they don't sort something out soon.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Abstain - To refrain from something by one's own choice.

Based on that definition I think the abstained votes should not be count for or against.

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Re: Based on that definition

The way the votes are counted is a poison pill provision that is typically written to allow the original owners of the company to control the direction of the company going forward. Specifically it makes it very difficult to launch a hostile (Ichan) takeover of a company. But it can also make it very difficult for a friendly takeover (Michael Dell).

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Nothing says snooty entitled prat...

...like suing the company you want to buy.

Unless they're not in it for the long-term.

tldr;Icahn-a believe it could get any worse...

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Pint

Popcorn

I've run out, maybe I have tortilla chips.

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Translated to Icahn speak:

"How dare that Dell guy interfere with my god given right to easy money by trying to save a company? Blasphemy!"

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Roo
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Meh

Re: Translated to Icahn speak:

In the IT business he has precisely zero credibility as far as running a business goes, so presumably he has some credibility in another field (comedy perhaps?).

Does Icahn actually have any previous experience of 'saving' a company or is his credibility something that has been conjured up out of a huge pile of debt and failed businesses ?

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@Roo: Let me fix this for you

In the IT business he has precisely zero credibility as far as running a business goes, so presumably he has some credibility in another field (comedy perhaps?) .

Ichan made his money by buying up dying companies, splitting their assets apart, and selling them off. Sometimes this involved piling them up with debt first then running away like the modern day pirate he is. Other times it was just looting the corpses. I'll grant that sometimes this is a necessary function in the market, sort of like the having the garbage collector come around to take away your trash. But you wouldn't want the garbage collector coming into your house taking whatever he feels like. And my apologies to any actual garbage collectors who might read this post for comparing them to Ichan.

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wow...

Suing the board of the company you want to buy out. The same board who most probably have majority shares, and still haven't voted. Wow just...

Normally I'd come up with some kind of comparison in this situation but I can't, I can't, I've tried but I just cannot think of anything quite so stupid. It's like he took stupidity and poor people skills to a whole new level.

"Hey guys if you vote for me I'll take this company to a whole new level... Oh by the way because you haven't voted for me yet I'm suing."

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here come the downvotes

Granted ICahn is an ICunt but in general if anything there are not enough shareholder activists. Corporate boards full of college buddies of the CEO/Chairman (both titles one man should also be outlawed) are a lot more of a threat to our way of life than any so called "activists" (even the name is propaganda). The fact also that many shares are owned by the middle class in mutual funds and pensions and are purposely not allowed to rock the boat often allows the rich idiots at the top to do as they please at the expense of almost everyone else.

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Unhappy

Re: here come the downvotes

I probably would not mind so much if the shareholder activists were mainly engaged in wanting to improve the company. However, too many have an ego trip in mind, either they want to save the world, one destroyed company at a time or they want to make as much cash for themselves one or more destroyed company at a time.

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Re: here come the downvotes

I don't think you understand what this "activist investor" is all about. It's not about changing a company, or the world for the better. He's an activist on behalf of "shareholder rights" - i.e. the right to leech out as much money from a company as possible before pulling out and investing in some other company to do the exact same thing.

He wants the rich shareholders and investment funds to make as much money as possible from selling off a company's assets, and fucking over the employees and customers.

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Re: here come the downvotes

Even one "shareholder activist" is too many. Granted the rest of your statement is true, there are too many "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" types on boards. But "shareholder activists" are just as bad if not worse because they are in it for political reasons. What we really need are more businessmen on boards. By "businessman" I mean someone who is actively engaged in determining what buyers need/want, making it, and delivering it to them.

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Anonymous Coward

mutually exclusive

My one question on this is: Didn't he buy most of his shares after the announcement in order to get enough of a percentage to have a voice on the board? If so then is he suing to exclude himself as a voter?

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Re: mutually exclusive

As I recall, Icahn indeed purchased rather large amounts of shares well after Dell' (the man) announcement of wanting to take the company private, very clearly to enhance his chances of affecting the vote.

Speaking of voting rules, its mind boggling to have rule where non-vote counts as a no. Any normal logic would certainly suggest that abstained vote is exactly that, neither for nor against.

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My biggest gripe with this is the use of company assets in something they don't yet own. Both are guilty of this. The simplest answer would be to change the laws so that no cash or shares held by the company being bought can be used as leverage by the buyers. If the buyer can't stump up the cash by themselves, then they can't have the company.

Alternatively, you could not take the company public in the first place and give the middle finger to the likes of Icann!

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