After Michael Dell and his partner Silver Lake Partners last week upped their bid for the company he founded, it seemed like the board at PC maker Dell would quickly move forward. But it turns out that's not happening.
In a letter sent to Michael Dell on Tuesday and released today, Dell's Special Committee of the Board of Directors, which is tasked with evaluating all buyout offers, said that it's "not prepared to accept" the proposal Dell and his partners brought before it last week. The committee didn't say why it's unwilling to accept the proposal at this time.
Dell and Silver Lake previously offered to buy the remaining shares in the company that they don't own for $13.65. If the deal were approved by shareholders, Dell would take the company private. Last week, just hours before the vote was to be held, Dell upped his offer to $13.75 per share.
Although Dell's Special Committee had endorsed the initial Dell offer, the addition of one wrinkle might have prompted the Committee to take pause this time around. Dell and Silver Lake requested that the company count only those votes actually registered in the election. The current rules stipulate that people who don't vote in the transaction represent a "no" vote. Dell wants ballots not cast to be tossed out, thereby increasing his chances of getting the deal done.
Interestingly, Dell's Special Committee is still willing to hold a vote, as planned, on August 2, to determine whether shareholders want to accept the deal. However, the Committee is offering for the vote to proceed on the existing $13.65 deal, and not Dell's latest offer.
The Committee has asked Michael Dell and Silver Lake to respond, which they will likely do sooner rather than later.
This story has been updated throughout the morning.