One of the most successful people on Wall Street is Carl Icahn. With Drexel Burnham's junk bonds, this corporate thief rose to the status of vulture capitalist in the 1980s. He invested in publicly traded firms and at first demanded radical changes in their company leadership and management methods. He was frequently the victim of "greenmail" payments from targets on the condition that he leave them alone.
His reputation was transformed by the turn of the 20th century as a shareholder activist. Investors purchased the companies he focused on after following his lead. The "Icahn lift" refers to the increase in stock price brought on by the belief that Icahn will unearth shareholder value.
Icahn's first success was at the Tappan Company in 1979.
He arranged the sale of the manufacturer of kitchen stoves shortly after being elected to the board, netting him $3 million. Soon after, he would concentrate on Marshall Fields and Phillips Petroleum, which brought in a lot of money as the businesses battled off takeovers.
The peak of Icahn's early undertakings was TWA. He took over the airline that had previously belonged to Howard Hughes in 1985. Soon after, TWA acquired a number of little regional airlines as Icahn aimed to boost the airline's profitability by utilizing its larger size. He took the business private in 1988 through a $650 million stock repurchase program, which allowed him to recover virtually all of his $469 million investment. TWA also incurred a $540 million debt as a result of this.
The airline's most valuable routes would soon be transferred to rivals, forcing the struggling company to file for bankruptcy in 1992. Icahn departed the business the next year.
In the meanwhile, Icahn worked with the corporation to exchange the $190 million that TWA owed him for flight vouchers. Icahn established LowestFare.com to offer these tickets since the agreement said he could not do so through travel agencies.
Icahn stated, "With a few exceptions, my investment strategy is to acquire things when no one needs them. As a contrarian investor, he notably seeks firms with low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios or with net values higher than the price at which they are trading.
Icahn then makes an aggressive purchase of a sizeable stake in the company and demands either the election of a completely new board of directors or the sale of certain assets in order to increase shareholder value. Icahn focuses on CEO pay in public, claiming that many top executives receive excessively excessive remuneration and that this compensation is not in line with shareholder returns.
Investment Strategy Post-TWA
Icahn's encounter with TWA would influence him to prioritize raising the share price of his companies by compelling the sale of the undervalued assets of the business. Greenmail payments made directly to Icahn may have been an alternate consequence.
Typically, Icahn would purchase a sizable chunk of the company's stock and then put up his own slate of candidates for election to the board of directors at the annual meeting.
This strategy was employed by Icahn to compel USX, the corporate offspring of Andrew Carnegie's U.S. Steel, to separate its steelmaking businesses and concentrate on the petroleum industry through Marathon Oil. Both share classes increased by 28 percent in 1991 as a result of the addition of a second class of USX shares to monitor the steel industry.
Icahn participated in the conflict between Texaco and Pennzoil over Getty Oil. He amassed over 13% of Texaco's shares, but his attempt to seize control of the board of directors was unsuccessful. He benefited when the lawsuit was resolved, and Texaco's share price increased, giving Icahn a windfall.
Icahn acquired a 7.3 percent share in RJR Nabisco in the late 1990s in another well-known corporate raid. He then started a proxy battle to take over the board and force the division of the business. Despite the fact that Icahn's attempts were unsuccessful, the raid gave his portfolio a $100 million profit.
Similar to this, in 2006, Icahn made unsuccessful attempts to get Time Warner to divide its businesses into four independent publicly traded firms. Despite opposition from the other significant owners, Icahn persuaded Time Warner to appoint two independent board members and agree to cost-cutting measures, resulting in yet another significant profit.
Icahn made Netflix Inc. his target in the fall of 2012. (NFLX). In keeping with his contrarian investing style, he built up a stake of more than 10% in the business while Netflix stock was close to a 52-week low. After he revealed his ownership of the firm in a regulatory filing, the "Icahn lift" sent a share price surging 14%. The poison pill was adopted by the Netflix board in response. Icahn gained more than $1.9 billion on his first $321 million investment even by the time he left the job in 2015.
Carl Icahn's net wealth is $22 billion as of June 24, 2022.
Icahn proposed two candidates for the McDonald's (MCD) board of directors' election at the company's annual meeting in February 2022. Icahn claimed to possess just 200 shares of McDonald's stock he had been actively involved for ten years in a campaign to have McDonald's cease buying pork from suppliers that confine pregnant sows in gestational cages at the urging of a daughter who'd already served for the Humane Society.
In response, McDonald's claimed that Icahn had pressured it to make new agreements requiring all of the company's pig suppliers to relinquish crates within certain deadlines.
According to McDonald's, this requirement "reflects a break from the veterinarian science utilized for large-scale manufacturing throughout the industry, and would undermine the Company's common objective of offering customers high-quality goods at reasonable rates."
Icahn called on McDonald's shareholders, "especially major asset managers concerned on ESG," to support his nominations to the firm's board of directors in April 2022. He accused the business of "failing to deliver on [its] pledge to abolish utilization of inhumane gestation cages in its supply chain." The alternative policy benchmarks are known as ESG—environmental, social, and governance—are used by socially responsible investors to distribute investment capital.
The Humane Society complained to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on April 22, 2022, supporting Icahn's claims and claiming McDonald's had misrepresented in prior securities filings its commitment to forbidding gestation cages.
What Businesses Is Carl Icahn an Owner of?
Icahn Enterprises (IEP), a diversified holding company, was founded by Carl Icahn, who also holds a controlling stake in it.
9 IEP has seven operational sectors and subsidiaries like Icahn Automotive Group, Vivus, a pharmaceutical firm, and WestPoint Home, a manufacturer of home textiles. Icahn has a substantial investment portfolio, several of which he owns the majority.
Carl Icahn: Know What Type of Investor Is He?
Carl Icahn, like Warren Buffett, has an unusual approach to investing by taking a stance that is at odds with the opinion of the majority of investors. He is especially interested in firms with low price-to-earnings ratios or with book values that are higher than their market prices.
What percentage of Icahn Enterprises is owned by Carl Icahn?
Icahn Enterprises is owned by Carl Icahn to the tune of about 87 percent.
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