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New Wrinkle Reportedly Emerges in Dell Imbroglio

Late Wednesday Reuters reported that some of Dell’s largest investors who have abstained from voting have had a change of heart

Let's see, where were we?

Oh, yes, Dell's special committee had rejected a sweetened offer of $13.75 a share because it didn't want to throw out the shares sitting on the fence that didn't vote "yes" or "no" on the buy-out offer to take the company private, leaving it looking likely that the original deal for $13.65 a share will go down to defeat Friday if in fact the committee tallies the votes then as it's said it will.

Even Silver Lake, the private equity house in league with Michael Dell, reportedly thinks the deal will collapse.

Anyway, late Wednesday Reuters reported that some of Dell's largest investors who have abstained from voting have had a change of heart - perhaps because Dell's stock price is sinking - and would be willing to take the $13.75 a share the committee rejected with the amended record date on who exactly can vote like the committee suggested.

The hold-outs are supposed to represent 27% of the shares and could theoretically determine the outcome. However, Reuters said it couldn't find out the number of investors willing to change their mind and support the buy-out or how much stock they owned.

Dell's stock closed down Wednesday at $12.66 and the special committee has warned that if the deal goes south so would the stock price - into the single digits where it was before the buy-out proposal was trotted out back in February.

Michael Dell and Silver Lake have yet to publicly react to the committee's proposal that they pay the $13.75 a share they offered last week but not get all abstentions thrown out like they want and settle for letting folks that bought stock after June 3 vote. It's unclear if that would make any difference in the results.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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