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Billionaire investor Icahn turns to law to wreck rival Dell takeover bid

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has filed a lawsuit against Dell and its board, in his latest attempt to block Michael Dell's bid to privatise the company.

Icahn has asked the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware to stop the firm from postponing a meeting set to take place today, at which shareholders will vote on founder and CEO Michael Dell's takeover proposal in conjunction with investment firm Silver Lake.

Icahn also wants to stop Dell from changing the date by which shareholders needed to have bought their shares to be able to vote. He has also included an order preventing Michael Dell from counting any shares purchased since 5 February – the date that Dell first announced his buyout proposal - as part of the vote.

Today's vote has already been rescheduled twice, with rumours indicating that Michael Dell was concerned he hadn't secured enough support at the time.

Dell and Silver Lake have offered to buy the company for $13.75 (£9) per share, but Dell's Special Committee of the Board of Directors this week shot the bid down.

"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," said Icahn, who has fiercely opposed Michael Dell's buyout attempts, earlier this month. "They should have held him accountable years ago."

Icahn says Dell's bid is far too low, and has suggested $14 (£9.20) per share as a more reasonable price.

Icahn currently owns an 8.7 per cent stake in the company.