Icahn Enterprises disclosed that it had signed a confidentiality agreement with Dell that will allow it to examine the company's financial records. The stock was up $.18 to $14.34.
Founder Michael Dell is leading a group of investors who have proposed taking Dell private. That group has offered $13.65 per share, valuing the deal at about $24.4 billion.
But a number of large shareholders have balked, insisting that the offer vastly undervalues the company.
Last week, Icahn sent a letter to the company revealing that he had accumulated a "substantial" number of shares, and proposing an alternative deal that would pay a large cash dividend back to shareholders. If his plan is not embraced, Icahn suggested the company allow shareholders to vote on replacing the board or face lengthy litigation.