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The Globe and Mail

Twice rejected Icahn wants all Clorox board seats

Private equity investor Carl Icahn speaks at the World Business Forum on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007 in New York.


Billionaire investor Carl Icahn wants all 11 seats on the board of consumer products maker Clorox Co. , which has twice rejected his offers this summer to buy the company.

In a letter to Clorox Friday, Mr. Icahn said he wants to nominate himself, his son and nine other people for election to Clorox' board at its next annual shareholder meeting.

The notice came just a day after Forest Laboratories Inc. won its showdown with Mr. Icahn, as its shareholders backed that company's slate of 10 board members over nominees Mr. Icahn had proposed.

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Mr. Icahn, Clorox's largest shareholder, was twice rebuffed by the bleach maker in July. His most recent offer was to buy the company for $80 per share, which Clorox on July 26 called "inadequate."

Now Mr. Icahn, who owns 9.37 per cent of Clorox's shares, wants to replace the board that unanimously rejected his offers.

"His plans for the board are clear, but his plans to improve the company and shareholder value are still opaque," said Sanford Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj. "We would like to see Mr. Icahn provide much more clarity to all shareholders on what he has in mind."

Clorox, based in Oakland, California, could not be immediately reached for comment Friday morning.

Its shares were up 1 per cent to $64.79 in morning trading, more than $15 below Mr. Icahn's July 20 offer and below the stock's closing price of $68.43 back on July 14, the day before Mr. Icahn made his first bid of $76.50 public.

The shares have not yet hit even the first offer price, suggesting investors do not anticipate a deal will actually happen.

Mr. Icahn made his first offer public on July 15, and at that time suggested that some of Clorox's rivals should swoop in to buy the company for more than he was offering.

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So far, no other buyers have stepped up to buy Clorox, which is best known for its namesake bleach.

The company, whose other products include Brita water filters, Burt's Bees lotions, Glad bags and wraps and Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, has not yet announced a date for its annual meeting. It is typically held in mid-November.

Besides himself, Mr. Icahn would like to see his son, Brett Icahn, and nine other men on the board: A.B. Krongard, David Schechter, William Leidesdorf, Vincent Intrieri, James Nelson, Jack Wasserman, Daniel Ninivaggi, Glenn Zander and Randolph Read. Brett Icahn, Mr. Schechter, Mr. Intrieri and Mr. Ninivaggi work for entities affiliated with Carl Icahn.

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