Dell deal may face challenge

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The Independent Online

Wall Street was abuzz with rumours tonight that Blackstone, the private-equity giant, could step in to challenge Michael Dell's plans to take his Dell computer business private in a $24.4bn (£16bn) deal that sparked opposition from a number of independent shareholders.

Blackstone is believed to be among the potential suitors to have looked at Dell's books as part of a "go shop" period that opened up after Mr Dell, in concert with Silver Lake Partners and Microsoft, unveiled his plans to take the struggling company private. The window closes tomorrow.

The private-equity group declined to comment on the speculation.

The chatter comes amid opposition to Mr Dell's plans from independent shareholders, including Southeastern Asset Management, the biggest, who believe the offer undervalues the business.

The activist investor Carl Icahn has also weighed in, building up a stake in Dell and asking the board to scrap the deal.

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