The Wall Street Journal: Carl Icahn said unlikely to lobby Dell to sweeten VMware deal

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A profit of about $200 million could be enough to get Carl Icahn to stop fighting Michael Dell.

Icahn is unlikely to push Dell Technologies Inc. to sweeten its deal to buy back shares that track Dell’s interest in VMware Inc.

VMW, -1.02%

 , after reaping a paper profit of around $200 million on the tracking stock and VMware’s publicly traded shares, according to people familiar with the matter.

Over the past several months, the billionaire activist investor has been building stakes in both the software company, VMware, and the tracking stock, Dell Technologies’ Class V shares, the people said.

Dell offered Monday to buy the tracking shares in exchange for 1.3665 shares of what will become a newly public Dell, or $109 in cash. That works out to about a 29% premium over the price before the offer was announced. VMware shareholders, meanwhile, would receive a one-time dividend of about $11 billion should the transaction close. Icahn thinks lobbying for a better deal could be an uphill battle and it could be a challenge to gather the necessary votes and commit to a drawn-out fight with Dell, who founded Dell and is its CEO, the people said.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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