Carl Icahn doesn't like to lose and he doesn't give up easily. Both of those qualities were on display today as the feared corporate raider prepared to put up a new slate of candidates for the board of Forest Laboratories ($FRX).
Icahn--who earlier failed in an initial bid to seize board seats--didn't inform the SEC of exactly how many board seats he plans to go after this time, aside from sticking to a minority position. But former Merrill Lynch biotechnology analyst Eric Ende's name has been tossed into the hat.
Howard Solomon offered a detailed response to the 13D filing. "We always value constructive input from our shareholders," he said in a statement, "but we are puzzled and disappointed that Mr. Icahn's first chosen method of engagement since last year is the threat of yet another proxy contest." Solomon went on to congratulate the company for its late-stage pipeline work as well as its commercialization efforts. None of that, of course, is remotely likely to dissuade Icahn, though it may help keep investors loyal to the company's management.
Icahn has had a longstanding interest in pushing his candidates onto the boards of biopharma companies, zeroing in on underperformers on the stock market which stand to benefit from a shakeup or a takeover. And the former execs of Biogen Idec ($BIIB), ImClone, Genzyme and others can all attest--with varying degrees of anger and appreciation--to his stubborn refusal to walk away.
- here's the release from Forest Labs
- get the AP report