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Dell shares drop as buyout plans waver

In this 2009 file photo, Dell Chairman and

In this 2009 file photo, Dell Chairman and CEO Michael Dell speaks during a keynote address at the 2009 Oracle Open World conference in San Francisco. Dell Inc. stocks fell this week as talks of a private buyout wavered. Credit: Getty Images

Shares of Dell slid Friday on reports that founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners don't plan to raise their $24.4 billion buyout offer for the company.

Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and other media organizations reported that there won't be an increase in the bid, as Michael Dell and Silver Lake believe the offer they made in February represents fair value for the company. The shares fell as investors became more concerned the offer won't go through.

Activist investor Carl Icahn, the company's second biggest shareholder, wants Dell to remain publicly traded and says the company should buy back $16 billion in stock to give shareholders a bigger return on their investment.

Shareholders will vote on the buyout offer at the company's annual meeting on July 18.

Dell Inc., based in Round Rock, Texas, declined comment. The company's shares slid 28 cents, or 2.1 percent, to close at $13.03.

Dell and other personal computer makers have seen sales crumble because of the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets. In May Dell posted a 79 percent decline in its quarterly net income. Michael Dell believes he can turn the company around by taking it private and diversifying into niches, such as business software, data storage and consulting.

The company has backed Michael Dell's proposal.

A special committee from Dell's board has said Icahn does not have adequate financing for his proposal. In a form filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, the company said his valuation of the company is not realistic and that shares would tumble if the sale is rejected.

After the market closed, Icahn issued another letter to fellow stockholders criticizing latest special committee filing, asking why Dell & Silver Lake are so downbeat on the company. He suggested that the filing was aimed at influencing advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, which is expected to make a recommendation on the offer soon. Many investors are concerned ISS's opinion will be negative.

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