Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

T. Rowe Price Reiterates Opposition to Dell Buyout

DellatCES With only three days left before a shareholder vote, Brian Rogers, the CEO of mutual fund company T. Rowe Price, just reiterated his opposition to the $24.4 billion leveraged buyout of computing giant Dell.

In a brief statement just issued, Rogers said: “We continue to believe the proposed buyout does not reflect the value of Dell and we do not intend to support the offer as put forward.”

Through its mutual fund portfolio, T. Rowe Price owns a little more than four percent of Dell shares. When combined with the holdings of Carl Icahn, Southeastern Asset Management, Yacktman Asset Management and Pzena Investment Management, shareholders controlling a little more than 18 percent of shares outstanding have publicly opposed the buyout proposed by CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake.

What’s interesting is that no new names among the Dell institutional shareholder base have stood up to publicly oppose the buyout. Glass Lewis, the proxy advisory firm, estimated without elaborating that about 20 percent of shareholders will vote against the deal.

It may not matter. A lot of the institutional money in Dell shares is tied up with index fund that vote their proxy authority in line with what advisory firms like Glass Lewis and Institutional Shareholder Services advise. So far the Dell/Silver Lake proposal is running the table on that front, having secured three endorsements. That said, the deal is still no slam dunk and the voting is expected to be close.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald