The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2020 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Hedge funds: Icahn takes activism to the next level

In battle for Time Warner, he must convince institutions and the proxy recommendation service advisers.

Carl Icahn’s bid to launch a proxy battle at Time Warner sets a number of important precedents for hedge fund activism. If he succeeds, Time Warner will be the biggest company ever to face a proxy contest for its board, launched by an activist with a stake of less than 3%. His attempt to change majority control on the board, possibly unwinding the Time Warner/AOL merger, the biggest in corporate history, is also dramatic. Yet his campaign has been given credence by the fact that one of the best advisory firms on Wall Street, Lazard, is working for him.

Critical mass

But Icahn’s battle is different to the campaigns of other hedge fund activists. With Time Warner, he cannot just rely on garnering the support of other hedge fund shareholders to build a critical mass of support but must convince the institutional investors that hold the majority of Time Warner stock of his case.

He says this is why he hired Lazard to work on an alternative plan for the company, which will form the basis of a proxy fight for the board.

“I only have 3% of the stock and that’s why we brought Lazard in,” Icahn said, speaking at the New York Society of Security Analysts corporate credit conference at the end of November.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree