Those shareholders now have more limited options.
"The Special Committee has obtained two preliminary alternative proposals, both of which we view as superior to the Michael Dell / Silver Lake buyout," Mason O. Hawkins, Southeastern chief executive, said in an April letter assessing all takeover proposals.
The special committee was formed by Dell's board of directors to solicit competing bids to Michael Dell and Silver Lake's offer for the company.
"We view these proposals as superior primarily because each offers shareholders the opportunity to remain owners of Dell while also offering a higher cash price to owners who choose to exit their investment," Hawkins wrote.To be seen is whether investors such as Southeastern Asset Management now cast their support for Icahn's proposal, or if they try to negotiate with Silver Lake's offer. Southeastern previously criticized the initial offer as an insufficient price that wouldn't give shareholders commensurate payment for Dell's cash stockpile or the acquisitions the company has made in an effort to shift from PC's to tech services such as IT security, cloud computing and databases. The activist investor has indicated investment bank Jefferies is willing to finance his proposal. Still, a firm offer by Icahn for Dell has yet to be submitted. Silver Lake, however, has financing in place and an offer that Dell's board of directors already has accepted. For more on Dell's prospects, see why Dell's buyout marks a fork in the restructuring road for struggling tech sector giants. Also see why Carl Icahn's $15 a share 'devils bargain' could be the best offer for underwater Dell shareholders. Follow @agara2004 -- Written by Antoine Gara in New York