Icahn said he had opened preliminary talks with Blackstone, according to Reuters, shortly after it was reported that the two parties had made separate tentative offers for the US consumer giant to counter the $24.4bn take-private bid tabled by Dell and Silver Lake.
A source told Bloomberg the two parties had several days to make binding offers.
Earlier this month it emerged Blackstone could bid for Dell as the company completes a go-shop period following the $24.4bn take private offer from Dell and Silver Lake.
A separate report said Blackstone was planning to poach Oracle Corp president Mark Hurd to run Dell as part of a private equity-backed takeover.
Icahn has previously voiced his opposition to Dell’s bid, arguing it benefits co-founder Michael Dell at the expense of the company’s shareholders.
Earlier this month he told the Financial Times that “so many companies in our country are so badly managed that when someone is willing to go to the trouble of fighting to try to improve them there are great rewards”.
The deal could be the biggest leveraged buyout since the onset of the global financial crisis, and is the largest since a Blackstone-led consortium bought semiconductor company Freescale for $17.5bn in 2006.
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