Carl Icahn played a strong hand leading up to the vote but the meeting's continued adjournment likely plays into the hands of the Silver Lake consortium.
Icahn may have helped to drive a significant amount of crucial abstaining shareholders by holding out the prospect of an appraisal on the Silver Lake offer in a Delaware court. Meanwhile, the activist's last minute sweeteners to a $14 a share self-tender for about 72% of Dell's shares may have won support from some institutional investors.
Earlier in July, Icahn said he would add a warrant to his tender offer for the majority shares. The warrant, which Icahn says is worth up to $4 a share to current investors, will give Dell shareholders the right to buy one Dell share within the next seven years for, for every four shares they tender to his offer.
Since Michael Dell and Silver Lake unveiled their takeover proposal on Feb. 5, most news broke in the favor of the buyout consortium.
Dell and a special committee tasked with finding higher bidders for the company both support the consortium's initial $13.65 a share takeover transaction and continue to see weakness in the financial strength and value of Icahn's offer.
To be seen, however, is whether a final tally of undecided voters will break in Michael Dell and Silver Lake's favor. Dell's special committee will also have to say whether they are in support of the revised offer for the PC-maker.
Dell shares were falling 4 cents to $12.85 in late Wednesday afternoon trading.
Written by Antoine Gara in New York