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Icahn Keeps CVR After Failing to Find Buyer in 60 Days

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who took over CVR Energy Inc. after saying the refiner would reap better returns for shareholders by selling itself, failed to find a buyer for the company after a 60-day process.

After contacting more than 30 potential bidders, “CVR received one indication of interest, which CVR and Jefferies did not believe to be credible,” according to a company statement released today. Jefferies & Co. was hired by CVR to conduct the sale process, which ended on July 23.

Icahn gained control of the Sugar Land, Texas-based oil refiner in May over the opposition of its management by offering $30 a share and the right to an additional payment if he sells the company by Aug. 18, 2013. He had criticized CVR for not seeking a buyer and said it was “too small and not diversified enough to compete,” according to a March 28 statement.

CVR owns refineries in Kansas and Oklahoma capable of processing a combined 185,000 barrels a day. The company also controls CVR Partners LP, a fertilizer maker.

Icahn won’t continue to seek a buyer because “continual shopping of CVR could be disruptive to its operations,” the company said in the statement.

“The gap between his expectations and market reality may be unbridgeable,” Neil Earnest, a Dallas-based practice leader for mergers and acquisitions at energy consultant Muse, Stancil & Co., said in a phone interview before the announcement.

CVR rose 0.4 percent to $27.77 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 25 percent since Icahn’s initial stake was announced Jan. 13.

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