Michael Dell buyout still in the balance according to latest shareholder count

Michael Dell’s planned buyout of the PC manufacturer is still not in the bag, as opposition to the deal holds out, reports Bloomberg.

A fifth of Dell’s shares are held by investors including Southeastern Asset Management and investor activist Carl Icahn, who publicly oppose the deal and are proposing an alternative restructuring of the company to achieve "better value" for shareholders.

But the $24.4 billion (£16.9 billion) buyout proposal from Dell's CEO did get a "surprise" endorsement this week from Institutional Shareholder Services, and a shareholder-advisory firm followed suit in their support.

So Michael Dell has just ten days left until an 18 July vote to win over undecided investors, whose support could tip the deal in his favour, says Bloomberg. Dell can't use his own personal 16 per cent shareholding in the vote however.

Bloomberg said a special committee of Dell’s board overseeing the proposed transaction is meeting with major shareholders to seek their backing for the buyout, and it is encouraging the CEO to do the same, a "person familiar with the situation" told Bloomberg.

Michael Dell has said that making the company private will enable him to turn its fortunes around by concentrating on hardware and software not connected to desktops and laptops, where sales are in decline.

He wants to concentrate on servers, networking and larger data centre kit instead, mitigating affects of the flagging PC market which has been hit by the growing smartphone and tablet segments.

To illustrate the point, the University of Aberdeen recently deployed a new high performance computing (HPC) cluster to consolidate and help simplify the management of individual departmental research.

The new HPC cluster, named "Maxwell" after the eminent Scottish physicist, was implemented with the help of Dell servers. Existing disparate clusters were decommissioned, some of which were nearing their end of life anyway.

Their workloads were moved onto the central cluster, which includes PowerEdge C6220 servers, PowerVault MD3200 and MD1200 storage, as well as PowerConnect 6248 networking switches, all from Dell.