Yes Icahn: Activist investor moves to block Dell's route to a listing

The New York Times 2015 DealBook Conference
Carl Icahn said he will vote against Dell's reverse takeover (Source: Getty)

Activist investor Carl Icahn will try to block a plan by computer company Dell to buy back tracker shares in its subsidiary VMware, saying it is offering knock-down prices.

The investor, who opposed the move to take Dell private five years ago, said he had bought 8.3 per cent of the shares which track Dell’s investment in software maker VMware.

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Icahn said the tracker, DVMT, which trades at $95, is worth around $144 per share.

The value, Icahn said, has been pushed down by the market’s distrust of Michael Dell, problems in governance rights, and his deliberate move to devalue the tracker.

The tracking stock was introduced in 2016 to finance the $67bn acquisition of storage company EMC, which included VMware.

The stock tracks the performance of the subsidiary, rather than Dell.

In July, the computer maker announced plans to buy back the tracker funds from investors.

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It hopes a reverse takeover would allow Dell to go public without an initial public offering, avoiding awkward questions about its $50bn debt.

Icahn said he would look for partners to help counter Dell’s $109-a-share offer.

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