Institutional Shareholder Services, or ISS, a proxy advisory firm, has reportedly backed a leveraged buyout of Dell Inc. (Nasdaq:DELL) by Michael Dell and Silver Lake, Bloomberg TV reported early Monday.
If confirmed, the backing by the ISS is unexpected, as many advisors on the deal had expected the firm to view the $24.4 billion offer, or $13.56 a share, as unfavorable. A thumbs-down from ISS would have caused a significant portion of the company’s stock to be dumped by investors betting on the leveraged buyout.
Dell shareholders are expected to vote July 18 on the offer by the Round Rock, Tex.-based computer company’s founder and the tech-oriented private equity firm.
Michael Dell owns 16 percent of the company and is trying to take it private against the wishes of activist investor Carl Icahn, who has said the company’s position is not as bad as it’s being portrayed, and Southeastern Asset Management who are trying to buy 1.1 million shares of the company at $14 a share.
The stock closed down more than 2 percent on Friday, landing at $13.03 per share, on the same day the company predicted a grim future if the buyout did not go through.