Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Vanguard Now Seen Voting Against Dell Buyout, Boosting Opposition

DellatCESMutual fund company Vanguard Group may now be among the shareholders of computer maker Dell that plan to oppose the $24.4 billion buyout proposal at a shareholder meeting tomorrow, according to a report on CNBC that aired minutes ago.

The Vanguard Group had about 3.65 percent of Dell’s outstanding shares in its portfolio. According to my math, that would bring the total percentage of shareholders who have publicly come out against the buyout to just shy of 25 percent. That is now more than half of the 43 percent majority required to approve the buyout.

Vanguard’s opposition comes on the heels of word from investment firm BlackRock, which indicated yesterday that it opposes the buyout.

While there were reports yesterday that the vote might be delayed by as much as a week in order to try to rally some support, but I’ve been told that, as of this afternoon, the vote is expected to take place as scheduled Thursday morning.

There has been no word of a change in the posture of people in the Dell/Silver Lake camp, who told me reliably yesterday that there will be no addition to their per-share bid of $13.65 for the company.

This makes the potential for a lengthy and messy proxy fight for control of the company a lot more likely.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik