Ichan launches offer for Southwest Gas shares, seeks to replace baord

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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
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(Businesshala) – Activist investor Carl Icahn said on Thursday he plans to launch a tender offer for shares in Southwest Gas Holdings Inc and a proxy battle to replace directors on the gas distribution company’s board.

Icahn’s move comes days after the company adopted a shareholder rights plan to push for an investor in Southwest Gas’s potential $2 billion deal to buy the Questar pipeline.

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Icahn Enterprises intends to initiate a tender offer for the outstanding shares of Southwest for $75.00 per share in cash, it said in an open letter. bit.ly/3vcCZ0Y to the shareholders of the company.

According to the letter, a proxy competition will also begin to elect a full slate of directors at the company’s 2022 annual meeting of shareholders.

Southwest Gas did not immediately respond to a Businesshala request for comment.

The company earlier this month agreed to acquire Questar Pipeline Company, a gas transportation and storage business owned by Dominion Energy Inc.

Carl Icahn, who holds a significant stake in Southwest Gas, has since been pressuring the company to drop a potential takeover and focus on improving its share price.

Icahn said earlier this month that Southwest Gas was trading below its competitors, whose financial performance was driven by high expenses and poor relations with regulators. Icahn also questioned whether the company’s board can hold the management accountable, as many directors have been around for more than a decade.

Southwest said Questar will provide “significant financial and strategic benefits to our company, shareholders, employees and partners.”

Reporting by Aarti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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