Bloomberg Anywhere Login


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Icahn to Drop Oshkosh Offer If Support Falls Short Next Week

An Oshkosh Corp. M-ATV vehicle is driven in this April 16, 2009 file photo. Source: Oshkosh via Bloomberg News
An Oshkosh Corp. M-ATV vehicle is driven in this April 16, 2009 file photo. Source: Oshkosh via Bloomberg News

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said he will drop his offer to buy Oshkosh Corp. if less than 25 percent of shares are tendered by next week. The stock fell the most in five months.

His offer to buy all outstanding shares of the Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based truckmaker at $32.50 a share, or about $3 billion, is set to expire at midnight Dec. 3.

If at least a quarter of shares are tendered, “we intend to continue our proxy fight and extend the expiration date of the offer until Oshkosh holds its upcoming annual shareholder meeting,” Icahn said in a statement today. Otherwise, “we will respect the shareholders’ wishes, drop our tender offer and proxy fight and move on to other endeavors.”

The statement didn’t say how many of the company’s 91.6 million shares outstanding have been tendered so far.

Oshkosh encourages shareholders “to ignore Carl Icahn’s last minute plea to support his highly conditional, inadequate and opportunistic offer,” the company said today in a statement.

“Mr. Icahn continues to pursue flawed and ever-changing platforms, devoid of credible ideas or analysis,” according to the statement.

Oshkosh, the U.S. military’s leading supplier of medium-and heavy-duty trucks, fell 4.3 percent to close at $30.07 in New York for the biggest one-day decline since June 25. The shares are up 41 percent this year.

‘Strong Signal’

Icahn, 76, is the Oshkosh’s largest shareholder with a 9.5 percent stake. He announced his offer to buy the company on Oct. 11. The board rejected the bid on Oct. 26 and urged shareholders to do the same. The annual meeting will be held in January.

Icahn wants to replace the firm’s 13-member board of directors with his own nominees. He has criticized Oshkosh’s executives for poor performance and led an unsuccessful proxy fight earlier this year.

In his letter, the billionaire said he’s not asking shareholders to make a decision on selling their stock at this time, only “to support an extension of the offer and to send a strong signal to the Board and management team at Oshkosh.”

While Icahn said he believes Oshkosh has made some concessions in response to his offer, such as outlining a stock repurchase program, they’re “too little, too late,” he wrote.

Icahn has said he wants to spin off the company’s JLG unit, which makes construction lift equipment, because it is more valuable as a separate entity. Oshkosh bought the company in 2006.

“We believe that it is mandatory that JLG be separated from the remainder of the Oshkosh assets, something that the company apparently is not willing to do,” he wrote.

Walter Liptak, an analyst at Barrington Research Associates Inc. in Chicago, said he doesn’t believe JLG should be separated from Oshkosh. He has an outperform rating on Oshkosh.

“We believe that much of Carl Icahn’s premise for the spin-off of JLG is based on a short-term view of a cyclical company,” he wrote in a Nov. 27 note to clients. “The spin-off of JLG would destroy value rather than create it.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Brendan McGarry in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Stoughton at

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.