Doesn’t seem very value-creating for “Your Company” to put their corporate treasury outside the castle where the filthy peasants can get it, or indeed to devote capex to a castle when they have access to advanced technology like corporate jets. No wonder Carl Icahn is on their case. Read more
Motorola Mobility’s shares gained more than 12 per cent after Carl Icahn, Motorola’s largest shareholder, urged the US smartphone maker’s management to explore options for its extensive patent portfolio, reports the FT. Mr Icahn’s move comes shortly after the $4.5bn sale of a portfolio of more than 6,000 wireless patents held by Nortel Networks, the bankrupt Canadian telecom equipment group, to a consortium of technology companies including Apple, Microsoft and Research in Motion. That deal, worth more than five times the $900m Google had offered in a stalking horse bid, has drawn attention to the value of patents in the fast changing and increasingly litigious mobile phone industry and suggests that some companies with large patent portfolios could be substantially undervalued.
Clorox, the US household products maker, has rejected an unsolicited $12.6bn bid from Carl Icahn, the activist investor, who last week sought to spark a bidding war with his move, the FT reports. Don Knauss, chairman and chief executive of Clorox, told the Financial Times: “We’re not opposed to a sale, but we’d certainly be opposed to a steal.” Mr Icahn had offered to acquire Clorox for $76.50 a share, valuing the group at $12.6bn including debt. But he made clear in his bid letter that he wanted Clorox to seek a higher price from a corporate buyer and he floated $100 a share as plausible. Several analysts said they doubted that companies named by Mr Icahn as possible buyers, including Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive, would want to own Clorox. Gary Michael, Clorox’s lead director, said on Monday: “Our board has unanimously determined Mr Icahn’s unsolicited proposal is neither credible nor adequate.”
Clorox, the US household products maker, has rejected an unsolicited $12.6bn bid from Carl Icahn, the activist investor, who last week sought to spark a bidding war with his move. Don Knauss, chairman and chief executive of Clorox, told the FT: “We’re not opposed to a sale, but we’d certainly be opposed to a steal.” Mr Icahn had offered to acquire Clorox for $76.50 a share, valuing the group at $12.6bn including debt. But he made clear in his bid letter that he wanted Clorox to seek a higher price from a corporate buyer and he floated $100 a share as plausible. NYT DealBook says Clorox also announced ‘poison pill’ provisions that would make an undesirable takeover prohibitively expensive.
Carl Icahn, the activist shareholder, has decided to return money to outside investors, citing an unwillingness to be responsible to limited partners ‘through another possible market crisis,’ reports the FT. A letter to investors also cited unrest in the Middle East. Icahn joins a growing list of high-profile managers choosing to return capital to investors. Chris Shumway, founder of Shumway Capital Partners, announced last month that he would return cash to his $8bn hedge fund’s clients, after investors sought redemptions over a decision to step back from his role as chief investment officer. Oaktree Capital and Level Global have also returned money in recent weeks.
Carl Icahn, the activist shareholder, has decided to return money to outside investors, saying he is unwilling to manage their money through another downturn, reports the FT. Citing concerns about the economic outlook and Middle East turmoil, he told investors in a letter that he did not want to be “responsible to limited partners through another possible market crisis”. Icahn, 75, joins other big managers now returning capital to investors. Chris Shumway, of Shumway Capital Partners, last month decided to return cash to clients of his $8bn hedge fund after investors responded to his November decision to step back from his role as chief investment officer with $3bn in redemption requests. Lex says the moves highlight the fragility of an industry “based on superstars” while DealBook notes the “smart money” is having second thoughts.
Dynegy’s second effort to sell itself has collapsed, prompting the US power producer’s top management to announce their departure, the FT reports. Carl Icahn, the activist shareholder, said on Monday that he had not obtained sufficient votes in favour of his offer to buy the US power producer for $5.50 a share in cash. Dynegy shares have been trading higher than the offer price on expectations of an even sweeter deal. American Banking says Icahn’s offer, which was extended for a final time last week, required that at least 35 per cent of the shares outstanding would be tendered.
Blockbuster, the bankrupt US video rental company, said on Monday it had agreed to sell itself to a group of creditors for about $290m as a way to jump-start an auction process that could yield a higher bid, reports DealBook. The offer by the hedge funds – Monarch Alternative Capital, Owl Creek Asset Management, Stonehill Capital Management and Värde Partners – is what is known in Chapter 11 as a “stalking horse” bid, which sets a base price that other potential suitors must trump. Together, the creditor group, calling itself Cobalt Video, owns more than 50% of Blockbuster’s senior secured notes, and each member is part of the company’s creditor steering committee. One question, adds DealBook, is what billionaire investor Carl Icahn, another major creditor, might do.
Top executives at US power producer Dynegy on Monday announced their abrupt exit following the collapse of the company’s second effort to sell itself, reports the FT. Carl Icahn, the activist shareholder, said on Monday he had not obtained sufficient votes for his offer to buy Dynegy for $5.50 a share in cash. The bid was 10% more than Blackstone’s final offer that he helped derail in November. Icahn’s bid valued Dynegy’s equity at about $665m, up from Blackstone’s final $603m offer. Dynegy shares had traded higher than the offer price on expectations of an even sweeter deal. They closed at $6.01 last week ahead of Monday’s US holiday. Seneca Capital, an activist fund, said both offers by Blackstone and Icahn were inadequate. DealBook adds that the surprise exit of Dynegy’s management leaves a “big leadership vacuum at the company, as it struggles for a new direction amid considerable business pressures”.
Carl Icahn, the activist investor, has agreed to buy Dynegy, the US power producer, for $5.50 a share in cash – 10% more than the final offer from Blackstone that collapsed last month, the FT reports. But Icahn said on Wednesday that if a superior all-cash offer was made and supported by Dynegy, and Icahn Enterprises did not wish to top it, it would support that deal. Icahn’s offer values Dynegy’s equity at about $665m, up from the final $603m offer from Blackstone. Dynegy has net debt of $3.95bn. Icahn, along with Seneca Capital, the hedge fund, are the biggest investors in Dynegy and had rejected Blackstone’s original offer of $4.50 a share, prompting it to agree to lift the offer to $5 a share. It was not immediately clear if Seneca, which bought 9.3% of Dynegy in order to frustrate the Blackstone deal, supported Icahn’s new offer. Meanwhile Dealbook takes a look at what Icahn could plan for the company.
Dynegy, the debt-laden US power producer, has extended by a week the deadline for shareholders to vote on Blackstone’s $4.7bn offer, after the US buy-out firm increased its bid on Tuesday night, reports the FT. Dynegy’s move, announced on Wednesday, extends the voting period to Nov 23 and follows Blackstone’s decision to raise its offer to $5 a share, 11.1% higher than its initial $4.50 a share bid. The latest offer values Dynegy’s equity at about $603m, against Blackstone’s original offer of $4.50 a share on Aug 13, or about $543m – a 62% premium at the time. Activist investors Carl Icahn and Seneca Capital began building stakes in Dynegy in October, with both criticising the bid as too low. As the WSJ’s PrivateEquityBeat blog observes: “Oh what a difference a day – or a pair of activist investors and a looming shareholder vote – makes”. Meanwhile Reuters reports that Blackstone said that its new private equity fund has raised nearly $15bn.
Blackstone raised its offer price for Dynegy to $5 a share in an eleventh-hour effort to gain control of the US power producer when shareholders vote on its bid on Wednesday, the FT reports. The new offer was an 11.1 per cent increase over the $4.50 per share cash offer of August 13. It represents a 79.9 per cent premium to Dynegy’s closing share price on August 12, the day before the initial offer was announced. The higher offer follows an attempt to derail the deal by Carl Icahn and Seneca Capital, who own a combined 22 per cent of Dynegy and have complained that the original offer price was too low.
Blackstone raised its offer price for Dynegy to $5 a share in a last-ditch effort to gain control of the US power producer when shareholders vote on its bid on Wednesday, reports the FT. The new offer is an 11.1% increase over the $4.50 per share cash offer of Aug 13 and represents a 79.9% premium to Dynegy’s closing share price on Aug 12. The revised offer follows opposition to the deal by Carl Icahn and Seneca Capital, who own a combined 22% of Dynegy and have complained — as they did again on Tuesday — that the offer price was too low. The WSJ quotes analysts saying even if the deal is rejected, Dynegy could still attract other private-equity buyers.
Lions Gate Entertainment is suing Carl Icahn, the activist investor who is one of its largest shareholders, alleging that he violated securities laws and misled investors about his intentions regarding a merger between the company and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio, the FT reports. The two sides had previously joined forces in making the merger proposal, which follows MGM turning to creditors after being crush by its debt burden. The creditors will vote on a debt-for-equity restructuring plan on Friday. Lions Gate accuses Icahn of wrecking a previous merger proposal with public criticism, even as he built up large positions in MGM debt. As the WSJ previously reported, other MGM creditors’ positions are still large enough to force Icahn into a stalemate over his rival plan.
Blockbuster, the stricken US film and games rental chain, is set for a new lease of life after reaching agreement with senior debt holders – including investor Carl Icahn – on a “prepackaged” bankruptcy filing and restructuring plan, the FT reports. The company, which operates 5,500 rental stores in the US and Europe, is set to file for bankruptcy protection in coming days. Under their deal, holders of its $670m in senior debt would convert the notes into shares and provide a $125m loan to finance continuing operations. Bloomberg reports that the filing is set for Thursday morning. DealJournal meanwhile suggests that Blockbuster’s travails are a bad omen for Hollywood.
Blockbuster, the lossmaking film and games rental chain, is on the brink of another lease of life after reaching agreement with senior debt holders – including Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor – on a “prepackaged” bankruptcy filing and restructuring plan, the FT reports. The company, which operates 5,500 rental stores in the US and Europe, is expected to file for court bankruptcy protection in the coming days to allow it to remain in business and continue a drive to expand its digital and kiosk-based rental business.
The investor Carl Icahn plans to sue Lions Gate Entertainment for ‘scorched-earth’ tactics that have impeded his bid for a hostile takeover, Reuters reports. Lions Gate’s recent debt-to-equity swap reduced Icahn’s stake to 33.5 per cent from 37.9 per cent, as well as hampering his ability to effect board changes. The lawsuit aims to rescind the note exchange, and follows Icahn’s latest offer for Lions Gate’s shares made last week.
Carl Icahn has launched a tender offer to increase his stake in Lions Gate Entertainment to about 30% from 18%, a move that would make him the largest shareholder in the film company. The activist investor has made a $79m offer worth $6 a share but must first negotiate a waiver with Lions Gate’s lenders to avoid accelerating payments on the group’s debt. The offer drove Lions Gate shares up 6% on Tuesday.
Activist investor Carl Icahn has offered $156.5m to acquire the partially built Fontainebleau Las Vegas resort, which has been stalled in bankruptcy court since June, reports Reuters. At a bankruptcy court hearing on Monday in Miami, Icahn bid $105m plus $51.4m of debtor-in-possession financing, trumping an offer last week from racetrack and casino owner Penn National, which dropped out after raising its bid to $145m. Both bids are dwarfed by the $2bn already spent on the 3,800-room casino resort. The property is set to go to auction in January.
CIT Group, the troubled US commercial lender, on Sunday filed for bankruptcy after attempts at a restructuring or bail-out failed. In a statement, CIT said it had asked the bankruptcy court to quickly confirm its prepackaged bankruptcy plan, which has broad support from its debtholders and on Friday received backing from Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor. Icahn has agreed to provide a $1bn line of credit. CIT said it would aim to emerge from bankruptcy by year-end.
Carl Icahn is a busy man. On the same day he agreed a restructuring plan with constantly-on-the-verge-of-bankruptcy CIT, he told Bloomberg’s Tom Keene he quite concurred with Wilbur Ross’ earlier assessment of the outlook for commercial real estate in the US, and that he was puzzled by the current valuations of real estate investment trusts.
Ross’ assessment, for the record, was overwhelmingly bearish: he expects a “huge” crash in the market. Read more
Carl Icahn, the activist investor, on Monday offered to underwrite a $6bn loan for CIT Group, the troubled US lender, as he accused CIT of overpaying for a new loan from existing lenders to win support for its reorganisation plan. In a letter to CIT’s board, Icahn criticised the lender for offering to sell bondholders $6bn of secured loans at well below market value. The offer, which would cost CIT $300m in fees and carry a 9.5% interest rate, is contingent on bondholder support for CIT’s restructuring plan.
According its latest letter to investors (via Bloomberg), the flagship Icahn Partners fund is up 16 per cent in 2009. Of particular note though is the fact that 7.3 per cent of those gains were made in the last month alone, compared to an industry average of about 3 per cent. Read more
Two of the best-known US investors are preparing to face off in a high-stakes game that could reshape the face of Las Vegas, reports the WSJ. Activist investor Carl Icahn is pushing troubled casino operator MGM Mirage to restructure in bankruptcy court, a gambit which pits him against Kirk Kerkorian, MGM Mirage’s largest owner. Icahn and private equity fund Oaktree separately have acquired hundreds of millions of dollars in MGM Mirage debt in recent months.
Carl Icahn has increased the pressure on the board of Lions Gate Entertainment by announcing plans for a tender offer for as much as $325m of the group’s debt. The activist investor has built a stake of about 15% in the embattled studio, which owns the Saw horror franchise and hit TV shows such as Mad Men. Icahn this week broke off talks with the company after a dispute over board seats. He may try to force the studio into a merger with rival MGM.
Carl Icahn has set the stage for a hostile proxy fight with Lions Gate Entertainment after failing to secure any places on the Hollywood studio’s board. The activist investor, a long-time shareholder in Lions Gate, has built a 15% stake in the group and indicated in a regulatory filing that he would seek board representation. On Wednesday, he called a halt to discussions about board nominees.
There is a rather nice irony about a clash between rabble-rousing activist investors, particularly when two of the more dogged types – Carl Icahn and Warren Lichtenstein – go head to head.
After news earlier this week of an intriguing (some say “ingenious” while others say “outrageous”) move by Lichtenstein to convert the flaship fund of his Steel Partners’ group into a publicly listed vehicle, Icahn has come out swinging. Read more
Eli Lilly is considering a takeover bid for ImClone of roughly $70 a share, which would value the cancer drug maker at $6.1bn and would trump Bristol-Myers’ $62 per-share unsolicited offer, according to a person close to the matter. ImClone said last month, in response to an initial offer from Bristol-Myers of $60 per share, that it was in takeover talks with another large pharmaceutical company that was willing to pay more. ImClone said the rival suitor, which it has not named, was reviewing its financial information with the company’s permission, and would either make its proposal or withdraw by midnight Wednesday. The move by ImClone, chaired by activist investor Carl Icahn, was seen as an effort to convince Bristol-Myers, which owns 17% of ImClone, to boost its offer, which it did, but only by $2 per share to $62, while also saying it would take the offer straight to ImClone’s shareholders and would try to remove ImClone’s board of directors.
ImClone on Wednesday formally rejected a $60-per-share offer from Bristol-Myers Squibb to buy the 83% of the company it does not already own, and countered Bristol-Myers’ offer by disclosing it has received a $70-per-share bid from another suitor. ImClone, the cancer-focused biotechnology company chaired by Carl Icahn, hardened a stance taken in early August and ruled that Bristol-Myers’ offer was too low. The bid, made public in late July at a 29% premium to ImClone’s then-share price, values ImClone at $5.2bn, and the stake Bristol-Myers wants to purchase at $4.5bn. Icahn revealed Wednesday, however, that ImClone has received a higher proposal from a “large pharmaceutical company” – an early-stage offer that resulted from conversations with the unnamed bidder’s chief executive. The proposal, which would value ImClone at $6.1bn, is subject to the bidder’s ability to review ImClone’s confidential financial details.