Michael Dell's deal with Microsoft to buy back the computer company bearing his name hasn't gone through yet, and tonight two of its largest shareholders joined forces on another option. Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management have both opposed the $24.4 billion / $13.65 per share buyout proposal from the start and have an alternative proposal: a $12 per share dividend, funded by Dell's $9 billion in cash and $5.2 billion in new debt. If that's not accepted, the two also claim to be ready to put up a slate of 12 directors ahead of Dell's annual shareholder meeting, or take their challenge to the courts. Even with the reported withdrawal of a counter offer from Blackstone Group, things remain complicated -- we'll wait and see if any of these threats go through, or if they successfully wrangle a better buyout offer from Dell, Microsoft & Co.

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Battle for Dell continues as shareholders Icahn, Southeastern partner on an offer