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Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said Monday that Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake are "manipulating" and "coercing" shareholders of the tracking stock of VMware into accepting their buyout offer.
By using "scare tactics," Icahn claimed, Dell and Silver Lake are "literally stealing" $11 billion from shareholders in a plan to take Dell public again.
Icahn contends Dell and Silver Lake are significantly undervaluing VMware, a software company, in order to make money.
"You've got two guys that are going to make $11 billion," he said on CNBC's "Halftime Report. " "Eleven billion dollars for doing nothing. It's unrivaled even on Wall Street's standards."
Earlier, Icahn disclosed he raised his stake in the VMware to 8.3 percent from just over 1 percent. He is trying to block Dell's plan to return to the public market by acquiring the Dell tracking stock. Dell was also considering an initial public offering if its plan to buy the VMware shares fell through.
Icahn said in a letter included in a securities filing that he would gather votes against the deal. He said VMware was massively undervalued in the deal proposed by Michael Dell and the private equity firm.
"I intend to do everything in my power to STOP this proposed DVMT merger," the letter said. "In my opinion, it is better to have peace than war. I still enjoy a good fight for the right reasons, and in the current situation, I do not see peace arriving quickly!"
Dell said in a statement to CNBC on Tuesday that the company "continues to believe that the proposed offer for DVMT shares, which represents a 29% premium to the DVMT share price immediately prior to the announcement of the transaction, is fair and in the best interests of DVMT shareholders."