Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Carl Icahn Backs Down From Legal Challenge to Dell Buyout

icahn380Activist investor Carl Icahn appeared to stand down from that last lingering card he had earlier promised to play in his long campaign to defeat the $25 billion buyout of computing giant Dell.

In a statement on Twitter — which is his new favorite thing — Icahn said he was withdrawing his lawsuit in a Delaware court seeking to have a judge appraise the value of the company.

Icahn had hoped to use a provision in Delaware law — where Dell and most other companies in the U.S. are incorporated — that allows shareholders who oppose a transaction to ask a judge to appraise the value of the shares, in order to squeeze a better buyout price out of Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake. Dell and Silver Lake will be the company’s only two shareholders once the deal to go private closes, which is expected later this month.

At the time, Icahn liked the idea so much that he urged other shareholders to stand with him and exercise their own appraisal rights, too. He even called the idea a “no-brainer.” For many reasons, it wasn’t.

Anyway, this appears to be the end of this drama between Icahn and Michael Dell over control of the company. For a time, it seemed that Icahn had a shot of winning the whole thing because of a weird fluke in the voting rules that was changed late in the process.

After that change, Icahn ended his campaign to prevail in a shareholder vote. Shareholders approved it on Sept. 12, and nearly 70 percent of them voted in favor.

So, that’s that.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work