Carl Icahn will no longer attempt to defeat a $24.9 billion deal to take Dell private, though he maintains that Michael Dell and private equity firm Star Lake are lowballing shareholders. "We have determined that it would be almost impossible to win the battle on September 12th," Icahn wrote in a letter to shareholders today. "We therefore congratulate Michael Dell and I intend to call him to wish him good luck (he may need it)." Icahn is claiming a small victory, however; he points to the sweetened final offer from Michael Dell as proof that the company founder was feeling pressured by Southeastern. "As a result of this increase all stockholders are to receive many hundreds of millions of dollars more than the board originally accepted," he writes.
But Ichan still isn't happy with the proposal, pointing out that Star Lake is paying a price 70 percent below Dell's 10-year high of $42.38. He's also incensed with Dell's board of directors for thwarting his own bid to control the company. "The Dell board, like so many boards in this country, reminds me of Clark Gable’s last words in Gone with the Wind," he says. "They simply 'don’t give a damn.'" Icahn will continue to oppose the transaction in principle, but the last great obstacle preventing Michael Dell from taking his company private in hopes of a turnaround has been eliminated.