Deal to sell Dell may be about to face competition

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Blackstone also has discussed the possibility of Southeastern Asset contributing its 8.4 percent stake in Dell to a competing bid, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous people familiar with the matter.

Other Blackstone maneuvers under consideration would focus on buying just a part of Dell. Blackstone might try to buy Dells’ financial services division in a partnership with TPG, another buyout firm, or General Electric Co.’s lending arm, according to the people who talked to the Journal. Dell’s financial services division lends money to customers who buy its products.

Another Dell shareholder, billionaire investor Carl Icahn, is pressing the board to forget about selling the company and pay a one-time dividend instead. In a letter to Dell’s board earlier this month, Icahn proposed a dividend of $9 per share that would require Dell to take on billions of dollars in additional debt. Shareholders would profit further if Dell is able to engineer a turnaround that drives up the stock price.

Michael Dell believes he will be in a better position to overhaul the company if he no longer has to worry about Wall Street’s focus on profit fluctuations from one quarter to the next.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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