Investor Carl Icahn appears to be giving up on his quest to stop the Dell Technologies-VMware deal.
Icahn owns 9.3 percent of the stock that tracks Dell Technology’s controlling stake in VMware, making him the second-largest DVMT stockholder. Ever since Dell and VMware in July reached a $9 billion deal under which Dell would acquire the DVMT stock, Icahn has pulled out all the stops to sink the proposal, vowing to “do everything in my power to STOP this proposed DVMT merger.”
But now the war seems to be over.
Earlier today, Dell raised its offer to buy back the DVMT stock and said it will pay $14 billion, or $120 per share, up from $109 per share offered in July. The tech giant also agreed to allow Class C shareholders to elect one independent director.
If shareholders approve this transaction, Dell would again become a publicly traded company without a formal initial public offering. And after sweeting the shareholders’ deal, Dell appears to have the needed votes to move forward with the DVMT acquisition.
According to the company, shareholders who collectively own about 17 percent of the tracking stock have agreed to the new offer. This includes Dodge & Cox, Elliott Management, Canyon Partners, and Mason Capital Management — the latter two firms opposed the previous deal.
Despite saying VMware should be worth $300 per share and filing a lawsuit against Dell to stop the deal, Icahn late today issued a statement that essentially says he’s done fighting. He said he’s withdrawing the lawsuit, and he also took credit for Dell raising the per share offer.
“Although we believe a far better deal could have been obtained, unfortunately, and as you might imagine, we were not invited to the negotiations by either Dell or Goldman,” Icahn said. “In connection with the revised deal, it appears that stockholders representing 17 percent of the stock have decided to switch over and support Dell. As a result of this, as well as the support Dell already had, we have determined that a proxy fight would be unwinnable and have decided to withdraw our Delaware litigation and terminate our proxy contest.”