19 Jul 2013

Dell buyout vote delayed

8:02 am on 19 July 2013

Dell has announced an 11th-hour delay on a vote on a plan by founder Michael Dell to buy the computer maker.

Thursday's vote at a shareholders' meeting at Dell's Texas headquarters has been delayed until next Wednesday.

Mr Dell has spent the past five months trying to persuade shareholders to approve the buyout proposal.

The plan is opposed by billionaire Carl Icahn, who argues the offer undervalues Dell.

The BBC reports about 300 shareholders attended the meeting, and many others had already cast proxy votes.

Shareholders are allowed to change their votes until polling closes.

The board has recommended that shareholders accept Mr Dell's $US24.4 billion offer. But Mr Icahn had suggested the company buy back 1.1 billion shares at $US14 each and offer shareholders the right to buy more Dell shares at a later date.

A statement issued by the board on Thursday made no mention of the voting tally so far, but the BBC reports the delay suggests that Dell did not have enough votes needed to approve the plan.

The special meeting will reconvene on 24 July.