reveals stake in Hertz, plans to push management
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[August 21, 2014]
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON (Reuters) -
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said on Wednesday that
he owns an 8.5 percent stake in Hertz Global Holdings
Inc and plans to pressure the rental car company's
management over accounting issues and operational
Icahn, one of the world's most outspoken activist investors, spent
$470.5 million for the 38.8 million shares he owns, according to a
He said he may seek a board seat, something he has done at many
other companies. Last year Hertz adopted a so-called poison pill to
prevent any one shareholder from gaining control of the company as
activist investors began circling.
Hertz said in a statement on Wednesday that it welcomed dialogue
with its shareholders, was implementing new procedures and controls,
and had made "important additions" to its accounting and finance
teams over the last few months.
On Wednesday the company's stock slumped 13 percent when Hertz
withdrew its full-year financial forecast, blaming a shortage of
cars due to motor industry recalls and an accounting error.
Hertz announced in March that it would spin off its equipment rental
unit and earlier in the year speculation mounted that Icahn had
built up a stake in the company.
But it was not among the roughly two dozen U.S. stocks that Icahn
said he owned at the end of the second quarter when he released his
quarterly filings last week.
At 78 when most people are living off their life's investments,
Icahn is still casting around to make new bets and is busier than
ever in shining the spotlight on management teams he feels are
On Monday he told Reuters that Family Dollar Stores Inc, a company
he owns stock in, has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars by
trying to avoid being bought by rival Dollar General, as Icahn has
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His second-quarter filing showed that he made a new bet on Gannett
Co and liquidated his position in Forest Laboratories Inc, which was
acquired by Actavis.
And Icahn is not the only investor expressing concern about
management. A spokesman for Fir Tree Partners, which owns a 3
percent stake, said "the CEO has had some serious missteps."
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Additional reporting by Sagarika
Jaisinghani and Ramkumar Iyer in Bangalore; and Jennifer Ablan in
New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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