Dell's Biggest Investor Says Buyout Too Low

Dell Inc's largest independent shareholder Southeastern Asset Management said it plans to oppose the buyout of the personal computer maker, setting up a battle for founder Michael Dell who is leading the effort to operate the company away from public scrutiny.

Southeastern sent a letter to Dell's board expressing its "extreme disappointment" in the offer price of $13.65 a share, it said in a regulatory filing.

It said it "currently intends to avail itself of all options at its disposal to oppose proposed transaction."

Reuters had reported earlier that the Southeastern was unhappy with the offer.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based fund, which owns a 8.5 percent stake in Dell, said it values the entire company at about $24.00 per share.

The fund said it believes Dell board had several alternatives that would have produced far better outcome for public shareholders, including breaking up the company and selling the unit separately.

"Selling multiple business units to strategic buyers could easily exceed $13.65 per share," it said.

A representative of Silver Lake declined to comment.

With Southeastern's objections, shareholders representing 11 percent of the Dell shares not held by Michael Dell have now said they will vote against the deal.

Under the buyout's terms, a majority of shares not held by Michael Dell must be voted in favor of the deal for it to proceed.