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Fund Spy

Shareholder Activism, Mutual Fund Style

A path rarely taken--for good reason.

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The battle over the future of  Dell (DELL) has appeared prominently in the financial media lately. Founder and CEO Michael Dell wants to take the company private in partnership with a private equity firm, while some major shareholders oppose the deal.

When investors clash with company managements, mutual fund advisors typically aren't among the players. By and large, these dramas feature hedge fund chieftains such as Daniel Loeb and Bill Ackman. But in the Dell saga, Southeastern Asset Management, advisor to the Longleaf funds, has been a leading participant. In mid-May, Southeastern teamed up with investment heavyweight Carl Icahn, going so far as to publicly propose an entirely new deal as an alternative to the plan presented to Dell shareholders by Michael Dell and the Dell board of directors.

Gregg Wolper does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.