Dell Inc. adjourned an investor meeting to vote on CEO Michael Dell’s $24.4 billion buyout without providing any details on the outcome.
The decision, announced at the meeting Thursday at Dell’s Round Rock, Texas, headquarters, prolongs months of jousting between the buyout group and investors seeking a higher price. The meeting was rescheduled for July 24.
“The only way this vote gets delayed is if it gets too close to call,” said Angelo Zino, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s Financial Services. “They could try and stall and get Michael Dell to revise or raise his offer.”
Mr. Dell, the CEO who founded the company as a college student in 1984, proposed taking it private in February to stem years of ebbing sales and profit as consumers shift away from PCs to tablets and smartphones. He has said it will be easier to make investments in mobile devices and data-center computing without the need to satisfy profit-hungry public investors.
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who holds an 8.7% stake in Dell, has been agitating to force Mr. Dell and Silver Lake to sweeten their $13.65-a-share offer to take the computer maker private.
As of last week, investors opposed to the transaction owned more than 20% of Dell shares, according to a report from shareholder adviser Glass Lewis & Co., which is backing Dell’s bid with Silver Lake Management. Opponents might also include Harris Associates, Yacktman Asset Management and Pzena Investment Management, according to the report.
The buyout by Mr. Dell and partner Silver Lake won key endorsements this month from Institutional Shareholder Services and two other influential proxy advisory firms. It also has the backing of a special committee of Dell’s board that evaluated potential transactions on the company’s behalf.