Icahn seeks control of Southwest Gas, starts board battle

- Advertisement -


NEW YORK (Businesshala) – Carl Icahn said on Thursday he was seeking to regain control of Southwest Gas Holdings’ board and replace its chief executive, as the Nevada utility moves forward with a planned acquisition that the billionaire The worker investor hurts the shareholders.

FILE PHOTO: Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto Show on February 11, 2014 in New York, US. Businesshala/Brendan McDermid/File photo

“We are today announcing our intention to launch a proxy contest to replace the entire board and a tender offer for any and all common shares at $75 per share in cash,” Icahn said in an open letter. I wrote to the South West Board.

- Advertisement -

The share price closed at $69.49 on Thursday.

Icahn, which holds just a 5% stake in Southwest, plans to name two or three people who work for it and find other utility industry experts to serve as director candidates, according to Icahn. Two sources familiar with the idea said.

Tender and proxy competition planned just hours after Monday adopted a shareholder rights scheme, commonly known as the poison pill, to prevent any investor from owning more than 10% of the company. news comes.

Last week Southwest agreed to buy Questar Pipelines from Dominion Energy for $1.54 billion in cash and assuming $430 million in debt, a move Icahn criticized.

Icahn said he worries the company will issue stock at “ridiculously low prices” to “cherry-picked” friends who will blindly support CEO John Hester.

“John Hester and his management team are a huge liability to the company, we’re working on putting together a Blue Ribbon board and management team,” Icahn said in a telephone interview, adding that in his view Hester would be better off with shareholders’ money. Was playing roulette together.

A Southwest spokesperson did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Icahn has spent a career with companies and traditionally asks for some board seats when he feels businesses should be run better. He often enters into a settlement with the company and then leaves after his chosen directors join the operations.

In Southwest, however, the 85-year-old investor is moving more aggressively, as he feels humiliated by Hester and his team.

“Management violated our gentlemen’s agreement by announcing a poison pill on Monday,” Icahn wrote in the letter. He said that he was moving the tender offer to all shareholders to offer another option other than the company’s offer.

Southwest’s position reflects Icon’s activities at oil refiner CVR Energy, where it acquired control in 2012 after shareholders accepted their takeover offer. At CVR, the CEO remained.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bellis in New York, Arathi S Nair in Bengaluru and additional reporting by David French in New York; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Rosalba O’Brien

.

- Advertisement -

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox

DMCA / Correction Notice

Recent Articles

Related Stories

Stay on top - Get the daily news in your inbox