Dell Walks Fine Line in Pitch for Buyout

Chief executives typically like to boast about their companies, but as a Friday deadline for rival bids to buy his firm approaches, Michael Dell finds himself in the opposite position.

Mr. Dell needs to persuade Dell Inc. investors that the prospects for the company he founded in his dorm room in 1984 and has been running for the past six years are anything but rosy if he is to succeed with his plan to take the computer maker private.

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