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Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn dropped his bid to buy Oshkosh Corp. (OSK) after failing to receive enough shareholder support. The stock declined as much as 5.6 percent in morning trading.
Icahn, 76, the company’s largest shareholder (OSK) with a 9.5 percent stake, had said he would end his bid if fewer than a quarter of the company’s outstanding shares were tendered by the deadline. About 22 percent of the shares were offered, according to a statement from Icahn Enterprises LP (IEP) today.
Because he didn’t get the 25 percent of shares sought, “we are returning all tendered shares and we will not extend the offer,” Icahn said in the statement.
Icahn’s offer to buy all outstanding shares of the Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based truckmaker at $32.50 a share, or about $3 billion, expired at midnight yesterday.
Oshkosh fell to as low as $28.41 and traded at $28.63, down 4.9 percent, at 9:43 a.m. in New York. The stock is up 34 percent this year. Oshkosh is the U.S. military’s largest supplier of medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
John Daggett, a spokesman for Oshkosh, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.
Icahn has criticized Oshkosh’s executives for poor performance. He was seeking to replace its 13-member board of directors with his own nominees, including himself. He has pushed for spinning off its JLG unit, which makes construction lift equipment.
“I’m not surprised that Icahn had difficulty getting the number of shares that he wanted to get to proceed with the proxy fight,” Walter Liptak, an analyst at Barrington Research Associates Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. Liptak has an outperform rating on the company.
“Oshkosh management presented a really compelling earnings growth plan to shareholders,” he said. “The trading today sets up a buying opportunity in the stock.”
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