“Dell’s board rejected CEO Michael Dell’s attempt to change the voting rules for his bid to buy the slumping personal computer maker, a decision that is likely to doom the deal,” Michael Liedtke reports for The Associated Press. “But the endangered buyout could still get a reprieve if Michael Dell and his allies accept a counterproposal that would extend the voting period for a third time and allow a bigger pool of shareholders to cast ballots.”

“A vote on Michael Dell’s offer is scheduled to be held Friday. He had proposed a change designed to make it easier for that bid to win shareholder approval: In exchange for an extra $150 million, Michael Dell wanted to exclude shareholders who didn’t vote from being counted as in the opposition column,” Liedtke reports. “Dell’s board turned down that demand, but said it’s willing to postpone Friday’s vote and give shareholders several more weeks to consider the buyout proposal if Michael Dell and Silver Lake don’t withdraw the slightly higher offer of $24.6 billion, or $13.75 per share, dangled before the company last week.”

Liedtke reports, “The original bid has faced stiff criticism from a vocal camp of critics led by two of Dell’s largest shareholders, billionaire Carl Icahn and investment firm Southeastern Asset Management, who want to oust Michael Dell as CEO and replace the company’s entire board to pursue different alternatives… Dell Inc.’s stock has fallen by more than 40 percent since Michael Dell returned for a second stint as CEO in early 2007, just as Apple Inc. was getting ready to release the iPhone. That device launched a new era in computing that has seen a growing number of people rely on smartphones and tablets for everyday tasks that used to be done on laptop and desktop machines. Like most other major PC makers, Dell got caught off guard by the shift and has been scrambling to adapt while its revenue and earnings have been drooping.”

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