Investor Carl Icahn has recently purchased 100 million shares of Dell, giving him a six percent stake in the company. While Icahn himself has no comment on his intention, sources familiar with the situation have claimed that he has met with advisors to Dell's special committee, and have urged them to pursue a one-time dividend to shareholders. Additionally, Icahn is likely to throw in with Southeastern Asset Management's opposition to the deal to take the company private.
The privatization deal requires the majority of the shareholders (not including Michael Dell's shares) to vote in favor of the payout. Icahn's six percent share, if coupled with the coalition against the deal now, brings up opposition to the deal at 20 percent of the total -- nearly half what would be required to defeat the deal.
Southeastern Asset Management will lose at least $825 million if the deal completes. Chief Executive of Southeastern, Mason Hawkins, has railed against mismanaged companies that his company has held stock in previously. Icahn worked with Southeastern Asset Management previously, when dealing with the CEO misconduct issue with the Cheseapeake Energy Company in 2012.