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Dell board urges backing for CEO’s buyout offer

The Dell board is standing behind a buyout offer from the company’s CEO, and it has asked shareholders of the slumping PC maker to approve the deal in a July 18 vote.

The company’s announcement Friday is the latest volley in a battle with prominent shareholders over the company’s future and Michael Dell’s role in it.

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Dell directors unanimously recommended an offer from Michael Dell and the investment firm Silver Lake Partners to take the company private for $24.4 billion, or $13.65 per share, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A board special committee told shareholders in an open letter Friday that Michael Dell’s plan was the best option. It noted that the price represented a premium of about 37 percent over the stock’s average closing price in the months before rumors about a potential deal surfaced.

But Dell’s largest independent shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management Inc., urged shareholders in a letter on Friday to reject Michael Dell’s offer. It said it that it will provide more details about its own offer soon.

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