Carl Icahn Says Michael Dell’s Attempt To Rescue His Company Is Like ‘Catching A Falling Knife’

carl icahn

Billionaire Carl Icahn is not giving up on his fight to buy Dell and oust its founder, Michael Dell.

Tomorrow, he will raise his bid for Dell, he told Bloomberg Television’s Trish Regan and Adam Johnson.

“We are going to be coming up with a higher bid tomorrow morning … around $20, buy the stock at 20 and we will give the shareholders a piece that warrant. We think that will make it utterly superior and we will go to the independent board.

He also believes it was time for Dell’s founder and CEO to leave.

“Look at him, he is going in and catching a falling knife. He knows the company better than anyone. He is paying for it. I don’t think anybody would accuse him of doing this for charity or helping shareholders … Very often the founder of the company should not be running it later when it matures and I don’t think [Michael Dell] has done a good job and I think the board has been asleep on the switch. They should have held him accountable years ago. They have had a very poor performance. Instead of saying that you are out of here, they are going to reward him and give him this great bargain.”

On Thursday, he wrote a letter to shareholders telling them not to accept the deal that Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake are offering to take Dell private. They want to pay $13.65 per share. 

On Monday, that deal got a big nod from one top proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services. ISS said that shareholders were better off taking Dell’s offer than voting for Icahn alternative and keeping Dell public.

But Icahn told shareholders that it’s not an either/or proposal and that they have a right to have the company appraised before saying yes to Dell’s ~$13/share.

In a letter filed with the SEC, he wrote:

“Throughout my career I have constantly been on the lookout for situations where risk is very negligible compared to the reward. I believe that today a “no-brainer” exists at Dell. This is because if you own Dell and opt for appraisal rights, you have a rare opportunity to make a profit without taking risk. … All you have to do is notify Dell before the vote that approved the transaction.”