Icahn offers Oshkosh $3 billion buyout
BY BRENDAN MCGARRY Bloomberg News
Friday, October 12, 2012
10/12/12 at 4:29 AM
Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, offered to buy Oshkosh Corp. for about $3 billion Thursday, saying management of the military vehicles supplier has failed to deliver on pledges to improve profitability.
The $32.50-a-share offer is 21 percent more than the Oshkosh, Wis.-based company's Wednesay closing price, Icahn said in a statement.
Icahn said he intends to nominate directors for election to Oshkosh's board at the company's annual meeting, with his offer conditional on those directors being elected.
Oshkosh, which supplies blast-resistant trucks to the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, posted a 66 percent drop in net income last year as its sales shrank with the end of the war in Iraq and U.S. plans to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Icahn, Oshkosh's largest investor with a 9.5 percent stake, has criticized the company's executives for the poor performance.
"Management has taken a passive attitude to the future of this company, willing to sit back and watch what happens to the defense, housing and construction industries," he said in the statement.
Shares of Oshkosh rose 11 percent Thursday to close at $29.90 in New York. The shares have advanced 40 percent this year.
It's time for Oshkosh CEO Charles Szews "to say adios," Icahn said.
Oshkosh executives had no comment.
In a statement issued after Icahn's announcement, Oshkosh advised shareholders to "take no action at this time" until its board reviewed the unsolicited offer.
Original Print Headline: Icahn offer for Oshkosh hinges on board changes
The M-ATV vehicle is a product of Oshkosh Corp., a company that activist investor Carl Icahn is offering to acquire for $3 billion. Bloomberg file