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    Founder’s plan for Dell may change

    CEO Michael Dell might reach out to Blackstone Group, which has a rival plan to take control of Dell Inc.
    Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty Images
    CEO Michael Dell might reach out to Blackstone Group, which has a rival plan to take control of Dell Inc.

    NEW YORK — With the emergence of Blackstone Group as a suitor for Dell Inc., it appears Michael S. Dell may have a change of heart about his plans to take the company he founded private.

    He considers Blackstone’s proposal potentially friendly to management and may reach out to the private equity firm this week, a person briefed on the matter said. Were he to switch, that would mean backing out of his $24.4 billion plan to take control of the company, made in partnership with the private equity firm Silver Lake.

    The company has committed itself to exploring ‘‘the possibility of working with third parties regarding alternative acquisition proposals,’’ according to a news release.


    Because of his roughly 16 percent stake in the company, Dell would be an important part of any transaction. He has also agreed to contribute $750 million in cash to the Silver Lake transaction. That huge stake means he stands to benefit from a higher bid for the company.

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    Blackstone’s proposal so far does not describe what management would look like, should the bid succeed.

    Blackstone and the other player in the fight, investor Carl C. Icahn, are taking a different tack than Michael Dell and Silver Lake. Rather than taking Dell completely private, their deals would leave a piece of the company public.

    Blackstone proposes a bid of more than $14.25 a share; it did not indicate what percentage of the company would remain public.

    Icahn is laying out a bid of $15 a share for about 58 percent of the company. Shareholders could sell only some of their holdings; Icahn would have a 24.1 percent stake.