Dell buyout bid deadline approaches

A deadline expires on Friday for other bidders to put in offers that top Michael Dell's bid for personal computer maker Dell.

The 45-day window has been in place for others to top the $24.4bn (£16bn) bid to sell Dell to its founder and chief executive and a group of investors.

Reports say New York's Blackstone Group could be ready to exceed the current bid of $13.65 per share.

Dell says the deadline may be extended if other suitable investors emerge.

The Texas-based firm has promised to provide extensive details about the sales process in regulatory documents to be filed next week.

The Dell board committee that negotiated the current deal says it is selling the firm at a fair price, despite some analysts saying it could be worth more.

And Dell's largest independent shareholder, Southeastern Asset Management, says Mr Dell's offer "grossly undervalues the company".

The computer maker has been hit by a consumer move to tablets and is diversifying into more profitable areas of technology, such as business software, data analytics and storage.

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