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Michael Dell urges shareholders to take his offer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Dell is urging shareholders of the computer company he founded to vote in favor of his offer to take it private.

Dell, who's also the company's CEO, said in a regulatory filing Friday that taking Dell private will make it easier to transform it from a PC-focused business to one focused on business software, data storage and services.

"As a public company, we must take a more cautious approach to our transformation, because we must consider how our stock price will react to the steps we take and what effect that will have on the company and on customers and employees," Michael Dell said in the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing comes the same week that activist investor Carl Icahn proposed a $16 billion share buyback in his latest effort to thwart Michael Dell's effort to take the company private. Icahn, the company's second-largest shareholder after buying 72 million shares from fellow activist investor Southeastern Asset Management Inc., wants the company to buy back up to 1.1 billion Dell shares at $14 apiece to boost shareholders' return on their investment.

Dell's board of directors has already unanimously recommended that shareholders vote for the $24.4 billion offer from Michael Dell and the investment firm Silver Lake Partners. The offer is for $13.65 per share.

Shares of Round Rock, Texas-based Dell were steady at $13.35 in midday trading Friday.