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Dell sets July 18 date for vote on founder’s buyout bid

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Dell’s special board committee reviewing a sale of the computer giant reaffirmed support Friday for a buyout led by company founder Michael Dell, and set a shareholder vote for July 18.

The panel said that “no superior offer has materialized” since the proposal was unveiled in February in which Michael Dell, with the investment fund Silver Lake Partners, would take Dell private in a $24.4 billion buyout.

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“Dell’s independent directors unanimously recommend that you vote to approve the transaction by voting ‘FOR’ the Michael Dell/Silver Lake merger agreement,” said a letter to shareholders.

“We carried out a rigorous sale process calculated to obtain the highest price available… 21 strategic and 52 financial buyers were contacted and a number of parties conducted diligence, although no superior offer has materialized.”

The panel said the buyout at $13.65 per share “is the best alternative available — in a challenging business environment it offers certainty and a very material premium over pre-announcement trading prices.”

An alternative plan was proposed by corporate raider Carl Icahn in which Dell would remain publicly traded but undergo a leveraged recapitalization with new management.

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Icahn and other dissident shareholders, who hold around 13 percent of Dell shares, called the planned buyout a “giveaway.”

But the Dell board committee said details of the bid were too vague, and declined to act further on the proposal without additional information.

The buyout would provide Michael Dell a chance to reshape the former number one PC maker away from the spotlight of Wall Street.

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The move, which would delist the company from stock markets, could ease some pressure on Dell, which is cash-rich but has seen profits slump, as it tries to reduce dependence on the slumping market for personal computers.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Israel’s election outcome remains unclear — but the ‘ultimate loser’ will be Palestinians

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Israel is facing political turmoil as Tuesday’s election remains too close to call. With 92% of the vote counted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and ex-military chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party appear to be nearly tied. Both leading candidates aiming to be prime minister had run on platforms vowing to take harsh measures targeting Palestinians. Netanyahu promised to annex nearly a third of the occupied West Bank, in violation of international law, if he won re-election. Earlier this year, Gantz had threatened to bomb Gaza back to the “Stone Ages.” On Tuesday night, Gantz said he had fulfilled his mission by preventing Netanyahu’s outright re-election, while Netanyahu did not claim victory or concede defeat in a speech to supporters. From Jerusalem, we speak with Palestinian attorney Diana Buttu about the significance of the snap election. “It’s not clear who will be the ultimate victor,” Buttu says. “I can tell you who will be the ultimate loser, and that’s the Palestinian people.”

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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‘Just like Brett Kavanaugh’: GOP candidate who pleaded guilty to sexual battery claims he was the real victim

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A GOP congressional candidate in Utah is comparing himself to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — favorably — to explain away his guilty plea to two counts of sexual battery, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Cory Green, an Army Reserve and Navy veteran and private security officer running for Utah's 1st Congressional District, was charged with forcible sexual abuse in 2010 after he allegedly brought two teenage masseuses to a Motel 6, performed a sex act with an escort in front of them, and then paid one of the teenage girls for sex. He insists that the girl lied about her age and that his victim extorted him.

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