Carl Icahn's latest move in his takeover battle for Dell against its CEO and founder, Michael Dell, has hit a brick wall after a judge refused to fast-track a lawsuit he filed against the board two weeks ago.
Delaware Court of Chancery judge Leo Strine has dismissed Icahn's claims that the company has wronged its shareholders by accepting Michael Dell's $25bn takeover bid, which Icahn suggested undervalued the firm.
Icahn instead wanted to hold a shareholders' vote on a takeover proposal - which is currently set for 12 September - at the company's annual general meeting on 17 October, in the hope that the threat of him replacing the board at the meeting would force CEO Michael Dell to rush a final offer onto the table.
Strine disagreed with Icahn that the existing special committee at the company, formed to review buyout offers, would disadvantage shareholders, and opened the court proceedings by delivering a 45-minute prepared speech that gave lawyers from neither side a chance to speak at the hearing.
The vote and annual meeting are still set to take place on the original dates, with Strine dismissing Ichan's reasoning for combining the appointments.
Icahn currently owns 8.9 per cent of Dell, while Michael Dell owns 16 per cent.
Last Thursday, Dell reported a 72 per cent dip in second-quarter earnings, which has been widely interpreted as a reflection of the need for an overhaul of its business model.
As a result, Michael Dell's offer - which would net shareholders $13.75 a share, as well as bringing the battle between him and Icahn to a conclusion - is thought to be the more attractive of the two competing proposals for the company as the date for the vote draws near.