Dell deal hangs in the balance

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MICHAEL Dell and Silver Lake’s $24.4 billion (£16.1bn) bid to take computer-maker Dell private suffered a blow yesterday after the company’s special committee rejected their request to change the voting rules in exchange for a sweeter deal.

At present, the bid must be approved by a majority of all Dell shares, excluding those held by Michael Dell.

The buyout group last week raised its offer on condition that the deal would go through if approved by a majority of the shares actually voted, rather than all of the stock.

The consortium estimated that in the latest tally, about 27 per cent of Dell’s shares had not been voted and were therefore counted as “no” votes under the current voting standard.

A shareholder meeting to vote under the current system is scheduled for tomorrow.