Dell gets surprise backing from ISS

Michael Dell won support from Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) for the $24.4bn (€19bn) buyout of his company, a surprise endorsement from an influential shareholder adviser.

Dell and Silver Lake Management’s buyout plan would shelter shareholders from risks tied to the deteriorating personal- computer business, ISS said yesterday.

Last week ISS was leaning against recommending Dell’s offer, sources said.

Backing from ISS provides more ammunition to Michael Dell, who was not planning to sweeten the bid, as he seeks support ahead of a shareholder vote set for Jul 18.

Dell is fending off a challenge from billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who said last week he obtained $5.2bn in debt financing to support his third and latest effort to derail the CEO’s proposed buyout. Yesterday, the special committee reiterated its support for the founder’s offer.

“The ISS vote is a positive for Dell and Silver Lake,” Jeffrey Fidacaro, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co, said. “They may not feel like they actually need to raise the deal if ISS is agreeing with them.”


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