Icahn drops opposition to Dell sale

Dell headquarters
Image caption Profits have been falling at Dell as customers switch to tablet computers

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has abandoned his efforts to stop computer maker Dell being taken private.

The firm's billionaire founder Michael Dell now looks set to win shareholder backing for his drawn-out $24.8bn (£15.7bn) buyout of the PC company.

In a letter to shareholders, Mr Icahn said "it would be almost impossible to win" a vote on the takeover.

Mr Icahn had argued the bid by Mr Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake undervalued the company.

In the letter he blamed delays in the vote, which had been postponed twice, and was highly critical of the board.

"The Dell board, like so many boards in this country, reminds me of Clark Gable's last words in "Gone with the Wind," they simply "don't give a damn", Mr Icahn wrote.

The PC maker has been under pressure as consumers shift away from traditional computers. Mr Dell has pledged to shift the business away from PCs into mobile devices and business software.

His bid to take his company private includes an offer of $13.75 per share plus a 13-cent dividend.

Under Mr Dell's plan shareholders will be bought out and the company removed from the stock exchange.

He argues that it will be easier to reinvigorate Dell without the pressure of shareholder scrutiny.

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