Icahn Says He'll Consider Shareholder Proxy Vote if His Buyback Plan is Rejected
Appearing in a TV interview recently, billionaire investor Carl said that he’d consider but won’t commit to a possible proxy vote to force Apple executives to buy back more of their own shares, if they don’t agree to his proposal that is. Icahn made it clear in an interview with CNBC
that he isn’t “going away” and plans to continue his efforts to persuade Apple executives to spend $150 billion on a share buyback.
For those of you who didn’t’ know, Icahn made a splash earlier when he published a letter he wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook encouraging him to consider issuing an immediate tender offer, borrowing money back to buy back shares at a price of $525 from investors. When asked whether he is planning to push for a proxy vote to drive his agenda, Icahn said he would consider it if his proposal is rejected. He said the following regarding the matter:
We'll test the waters and see if the shareholders want us to do it and want us to win.
Icahn said he believes that Cook is doing a good job as a CEO and shouldn’t be replaced. He wouldn’t say the same for the rest of the Apple Board of Directors however. The billionaire investor believes that a change may be necessary on the board but he would prefer to see someone who has an investor’s point of view to provide input at the company. He did point out that he isn’t interested in playing such a role. Icahn said he expects to hear from Cook after Apple reports its quarterly earnings this upcoming Monday. He mentioned the two agreed to speak again after Apple’s September earnings report when they met for dinner in New York previously. Icahn continues to stand by his belief that Apple has too much money in the bank and that letting money sit is a disservice to investors. He said the following regarding the matter:
It's ludicrous to say that they need $150 billion sitting in a bank somewhere in Europe to do innovation.
For those of you who didn’t know, Apple is currently in the process of spending $100 billion through 2015 on share buybacks as well as dividend payouts. Icahn believes Apple should increase its share buyback program and spend $150 billion on its share buyback and he’d like to see that sum spent immediately.