As time gets tight for Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management to shore up the structure and financing of their recap plan for Dell, sources close to the situation said the chances that Icahn will bow out of his pursuit of the recap have grown considerably.
While Icahn is not talking, bankers and bond investors who have negotiated with him to line up what is now $5.2 billion in financing said the prospect of a need for another $2 billion in equity for a recap is giving Icahn pause as he reviews the horrendous operating numbers that Dell has recently reported.
Those numbers, when coupled with the need for more debt and equity to address a so-called liquidity gap in funding a $12 special dividend, may tip Icahn to bow out. His teaming with Southeastern Asset Management, however, may add a layer of complexity to that decision, should it come.
A spokesperson for Southeastern had no comment.
(Read More: Icahn: Dell Deal 'Almost Grand Theft')
Whatever path the group chooses, it is running out of time to do so. The meetings with proxy advisory firm ISS, at which both Dell and Icahn will present their plans, are fast approaching. Without a shored up financing plan for his recap, Icahn has little chance of winning ISS's backing—backing that's likely to prove crucial in the July 18 shareholder vote on the deal.
—By CNBC's David Faber.