Carl Icahn Says He Will Add to His Bid on Dell Tomorrow
Speaking on Bloomberg TV moments ago, Icahn said that he will be adding warrants to his $14 per-share bid for 72 percent of the company’s shares. He didn’t go into details, but said a new offer would be made to Dell shareholders on Friday morning.
Warrants would give shareholders the future right to purchase additional shares of the company under certain conditions. The way I understand it, Icahn would proceed with his tender offer to buy up the majority of the company’s shares, then shareholders who take advantage of it would have a right to buy shares at some future date. He said the warrants would be for rights to purchase the shares at a price of $20. Further details, obviously, are forthcoming tomorrow.
“We think our bid is superior, but we’re going to add to it,” Icahn said during a roughly 20-minute interview during which he was speaking by phone.
On its face it looks like Icahn is making his offer more complex rather than simpler. In theory, as a Dell shareholder, you could sell some of your shares to Icahn at $14 a share, hold on to some of them and reap the benefits if the company turns around for the better on his watch — and presumably with at least some of his preferred board. Now there’s a third piece with these warrants, which will basically give shareholders who participate the right to shares at a later date, and then the right to sell them at a specified price or by a certain date later in the future.
Dell shares rose slight in after-hours trading. As of 4:30 PM ET, the shares are at $13.44, up nine cents, or a little less than one percent.
It was Icahn’s second move on Dell today. Earlier he published an open letter to Dell shareholders, urging them to take their appraisal rights allowed under Delaware law in the event that a $24.4 billion leveraged buyout offered by CEO Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake is approved. Those rights allow shareholders to ask a judge after the fact to determine the valuation of the company if they oppose a merger or other deal.