Icahn, eBay End Proxy Fight, Prevent Paypal Spinoff

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April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg’s Trish Regan examines the agreement by eBay and billionaire investor carl Icahn to settle their proxy battle and looks at what may come next for both parties on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

Agreement, carhl says this is a detaunte.

Of this takes the fight out of the public arena.

It seemed like we were getting this on a weekly or daily basis, we were getting press releases from both sides.

Carl would tweet something, ebay would put out a press release, carl would say something else and ebay would come out with another press release.

This was sort of a tit-for-tat arrangement.

And i think that the feeling eventually on both sides is that this is not healthy, this is not the right thing to do.

Carl says he would like to see paypal be spun off.

He will have these conversations with management, privately, as opposed in the public arena.

When you say that they both came to the conclusion that it was best to take this out of the public domain, and i had the same thing from donahoe this morning, it leaves me wondering why.

Carl icahn has never been afraid of a public fight and to wage a public campaign, in the case of dell, four months and months with no sign that he is tiring of the whole thing.

What is interesting, eric, is that ebay shows no signs of tiring.

It was an interesting story to be covering because both sides were in it to win it.

And you don't always see it.

You might see an activist come out swinging but sometimes the company tries to get along, a little bit better, and this is a company and this is a ceo, john donahoe, who came up almost as hard.

Might things have worked out differently if carl had made more money on the stock?

We know that he started to build his position in early january when the shares were trading at about $52, and he has since accumulative more, so now he is a two percent stockholder, and a stock is at $54.71. even with leverage, he may not have made much money or may have lost money.

He may be thinking this is a better tactic.

If you are working with management and fighting management in the public arena, maybe this will get you further.

I think that he would like to see that paypal spinoff.

But going after marc andreessen and other members of the board, at the end of the day it was decided that this was more of a distraction than getting to the end goal.

I am just hypothesizing.

He did bring up the important point of calling attention to this inherent conflict of interest that you often see.

Let's talk for just a second before we wrap up about the message that this since to corporate america.

-- sins to corporate america.

-- sends to corporate america.

All that you have to do to a company is 8.2 per -- 0.82% of the stock.

It is almost like he held ebay hostage and they had -- and they had to give up something.

What happens when the next activist investor holds things -- holds them hostage, 0.82%. naturally, he doesn't look at it this way.

Nobody held me hostage.

But is in that kind of what carl icahn does?

The flipside of that is that activists are performing a role that is needed in the market economy.

Because they are getting in there and they are agitating and there is always the danger in any company and with any board that people get a little bit lazy and they kind of go along.

There is certainly a danger.

And then you have someone in there who says, i think it would make more sense to do this or do this, and is one thing for an analyst to do that.

It is another thing for someone who owns part of the company, even if this is only .85%. healthy debates for the original company and the activism.

They can get in there and do a little bit more and hopefully this is a good outcome.

That is trish reagan, who will talk to carl icahn at 2 p.m. here on bloomberg television.

Get his side of the story on this truce with ebay.

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