Brilliant Billionaire Has a Better Plan
UPDATE: Icahn Accuses Dell Board of Scare Tactics, Cites Management's "Abysmal Record"
Legendary financier, activist investor and self-made billionaire Carl Icahn is battling to keep Dell public. The once-great computer company completely missed the boat on the broadband mobile device/tablet revolution; and its founder, Michael Dell, now wants long-suffering shareholders to approve a private equity buyout that would clearly position the company to eventually go public again.
Nice work if you can get it. But Icahn has a better plan.
Comment: Dell has become a punchline. Icahn will turn it into a headline--for a success story. In light of all that has happened on both Wall Street and Main Street in recent years, the idea that a levered-up private equity deal is somehow in the best interests of public shareholders boggles the mind.
Disclosure: This reporter, who does not own any Dell stock, managed public relations for TWA when Icahn owned the airline, and learned from experience that a handshake agreement with Carl Icahn is just as valuable--and, typically, much more valuable--than a written contract with any company, large or small. Back then, Icahn's net worth was estimated at a mere $1 billion. Today, it's at least $20 billion. An investor worth listening to--and following--in this reporter's humble opinion.
Endnote: Seven years ago, Icahn was right about Time Warner; today, he's right about Dell.
Related: Dell's Dumb Idea -- Wearable Computers Will Save the Company