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Icahn seeks alternative Dell deal

ROUND ROCK, Texas — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn wants Dell Inc. to remain a public company and proposes rewarding shareholders with a large dividend payment instead of going private in a $24.4 billion buyout.

He said the amount being offered by a group led by Dell founder and chief executive Michael Dell undervalues the slumping PC maker.

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Icahn wrote in a March 5 letter to Dell directors that the company should chose his alternative, which would involve a special dividend of $9 per share, if shareholders reject the buyout plan that was announced last month.

If the board declines to promise that, Icahn said, the company should combine a shareholder vote on the buyout with its annual meeting to elect new directors, for which he will nominate a slate of candidates.

Michael Dell, backed by other investors led by the investment firm Silver Lake, is trying to buy out the company for $13.65 per share.

The company has been trying to reduce its dependence on personal computers, which are becoming tougher to sell as more people switch to smartphones and tablet ­computers.

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