Investor Icahn plans Time Warner board change-up

Carl Icahn, known for agitating change among public companies, lays out plans for a spin-off of Time Warner Cable and a Dutch auction.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor
Corporate raider Carl Icahn said on Monday that he and an investor group plan to push to elect one or more board members at Time Warner as part of a plan to improve shareholder value.

In a prepared statement, Icahn said shareholder-nominated board members are "important," given the "difference of opinion between many large shareholders and management concerning the direction of the company."

Financier Icahn, known for using similar tactics in pushing for change at Blockbuster and Kerr-McGee, is pushing Time Warner's management to spin off its cable division entirely and initiate a Dutch auction for about $20 billion of its stock.

"The Icahn Group believes that these actions would immediately narrow the gap between the current share price of Time Warner and the true value of Time Warner's assets, which the Icahn Group believes is significantly higher," according to the Icahn statement.

In late August, a source familiar with Icahn's plans said his investor group had mulled purchasing up to 10 percent of Time Warner stock. Collectively, it owns about 2.6 percent of the media conglomorate's stock and options.

Icahn was not immediately reachable for further comment. A Time Warner representative was not immediately available.

Time Warner, which has drastically slashed its debt and improved its operating businesses, has committed to buying back up to $5 billion of its stock and plans to spin off about 16 percent of its cable division.

Time Warner shares fell 3 cents, to $18.31, on the New York Stock Exchange, following Icahn's statement Monday.

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