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Dell shares fall as investors bet against higher buyout bid

A man pushes a trolley full of Dell computers through a company factory in Sriperumbudur Taluk, in the Kancheepuram district of the southern
A man pushes a trolley full of Dell computers through a company factory in Sriperumbudur Taluk, in the Kancheepuram district of the southern

(Reuters) - Shares of Dell Inc fell more than 3 percent on Friday, as investors grew skeptical that founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners will raise their $24.4 billion buyout bid in order to overcome growing opposition.

A deteriorating outlook for the PC industry has made a deal more challenging, and the buyout group is currently not planning to increase its $13.65 per share offer to take Dell private, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Bloomberg separately reported on Friday morning that Michael Dell and Silver Lake ruled out raising their bid, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Shares of Dell were trading 3.1 percent lower at $12.89 on Nasdaq.

Dell's board has grown skeptical of the prospects of Michael Dell's bid after recent meetings with major investors, and has advised Dell to raise the bid if he wanted the deal to go through, sources familiar with the matter previously said.

Michael Dell did not commit to a new course of action and so far has not communicated his decision to the board one way or another, one of the sources said on Friday.

Several large Dell shareholders told the board that the bidders would need to increase the price or offer shareholders a chance to continue to own a piece of the company for them to approve the deal. Failing that, the investors said, they want the board to come up with a 'Plan B' for Dell.

The shareholder pressure on Dell comes ahead of a key report expected next week by investment advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services, and a July 18 shareholder meeting, when investors will vote on the Michael Dell-Silver Lake deal.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore and Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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