Facing nearly certain defeat, activist investor Carl Icahn officially quit his fight for control of Dell on Monday, according
to a letter he filed with the SEC.
Dell shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal on Thursday and thanks to a change in how shareholder votes will be counted, Icahn conceded that it is now “almost impossible to win the battle.”
He said he still felt shareholders were being shortchanged, both by a too-low buyout price and because, by taking the company private, shareholders would be shut out of any gains from the company’s turnaround.
In classic Icahn style, he threw a few more barbs at Michael Dell and the Dell board as he made his exit.
“We therefore congratulate Michael Dell and I intend to call him to wish him good luck (he may need it),” Icahn wrote.
His parting words were for Dell’s board, which he said, “Like so many boards in this country, reminds me of Clark Gable’s last words in ‘Gone with the Wind,’ they simply ‘don’t give a damn.'”