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Dell allays fears over buyout deal

Dell is trying to reassure shareholders about its proposed $24.4 billion acquisition by a group led by its founder, saying it considered a number of strategic options before agreeing to the deal.

Dell Inc. laid out the advantages of the transaction in a regulatory filing Monday, three days after a major shareholder ridiculed the buyout as a rotten deal that undervalues the business.

On Friday, Southeastern Asset Management Inc. sent a letter to Dell’s board of directors. Southeastern CEO O. Mason Hawkins threatened to lead a shareholder mutiny unless Dell came up with an alternative acquisition offer.

Round Rock, Texas-based Dell said in its filing that it determined with independent advisers that the cash bid by a group led by Michael Dell was in the best interests of stockholders.

Dell also said the deal allows time for alternate bids do that shareholders will be able to see whether there are superior options available.

Defense contractor wins $7.2 million pact

Erapsco Inc. has been awarded a $7.2 million contract for engineering and manufacturing development services in support of the High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare system. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division issued the contract.

The order exercises an option from a previously announced defense contract. The work is expected to be completed in May 2014.

Erapsco is a 50-50 partnership between Undersea Sensor Systems Inc. of Columbia City and Sparton Electronics Inc. of DeLeon Springs, Fla. The contract calls for 48 percent of the work to be done in Columbia City and the rest in DeLeon Springs.

Trucking firm settles sex harassment case

One of the nation’s largest trucking companies has settled a closely watched sexual harassment lawsuit for $50,000, but it could try to recoup millions of dollars in legal fees.

CRST Van Expedited agreed in a Friday settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to pay the lone female driver remaining in what had been a class-action case the EEOC filed in 2007.

The agency once sought relief for up to 270 women who were allegedly harassed by male instructors or drivers for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, company.

But a federal appeals court ruled that the EEOC erred by filing the lawsuit before it identified every affected worker, investigated their claims and sought informal settlements.

That ruling made it more difficult for the agency to bring class-action lawsuits in several states.

Private takeover of Duff & Phelps on track

Financial advisory and investment banking firm Duff & Phelps said Monday that its $665.5 million takeover by a group of private equity firms, including The Carlyle Group LP, will proceed since the period to solicit other bids is over and no other offers materialized.

Duff & Phelps agreed to be acquired by Carlyle and the other firms in December. A “go-shop” period, when the firm could negotiate, accept or solicit other offers, expired Friday. Duff & Phelps can no longer seek out better bids, meaning the deal is likelier to go through. It’s still expected to close by the end of June.

Duff & Phelps said its financial adviser Centerview Partners contacted 27 potential buyers during the period.