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Blackstone, Icahn have Dell in sights

Private equity giant Blackstone and activist investor Carl Icahn are preparing formal bids for US computer company Dell, according to reports at the weekend.

Founder and chief executive Michael Dell has been working on a $24.4bn (£16bn) offer with former Skype owner Silver Lake Partners since last month. However, Blackstone and Mr Icahn are said to have told Dell on Friday that they are preparing their own proposals.

Blackstone said it was willing to pay at least 4.4 per cent more than Silver Lake but did not specify an actual price. Mr Icahn holds a a stake of around 6 per cent in Dell, which has struggled recently while rivals such as Apple have soared.