Billionaire Carl Icahn sues Dell over public trading plan

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn sued Dell Technologies, alleging in court documents Thursday that the company withheld key financial information related to a planned deal that would return the company to public trading.

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Dell said last July that it would spend more than $21 billion to buy back its shares of a stock that tracks the company’s interest in VMware, or DVMT, granting it a return to public markets for the first time since 2013. The stock tracks the performance of VMware, Dell’s cloud computing subsidiary, rather than the company as a whole. The deal would allow shareholders to exchange DVMT shares for cash or shares of a publicly traded Dell.

Icahn, who holds a roughly 9 percent stake in Dell’s tracking stock, argues that the deal undervalues Dell and benefits the company’s shareholders at the expense of those who hold positions in DMVT, Reuters reported. The billionaire previously vowed to vote against the deal and urged other stakeholders to do the same.

“We believe this is a threat blatantly deployed in an attempt to coerce DVMT stockholders to vote in favor of the merger, or else risk the unknown consequences of the forced IPO conversion,” Icahn said, according to Reuters.

Dell declined to comment on the lawsuit. The company is set to vote on the deal on Dec. 11, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Icahn, who serves as chairman of Icahn Enterprises, has a net worth of $17.5 billion, according to Forbes.