Icahn: The Once And Future Dealmaker

The emblem for '80s-style takeovers is dealing again. This time he's after old-line giants with lagging stocks

James W. Kinnear, Texaco's former president and chief executive, will never forget the first time Carl C. Icahn tracked him down--at the dentist's office. It was 1987, and Kinnear was having a tooth pulled. But Icahn was determined to get through. A Texas court had ordered Texaco Inc. to pay Pennzoil Co. a mammoth $10.53 billion for acquiring Getty Oil Co. because Pennzoil already had a deal with Getty. Texaco vowed to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and started Chapter 11 proceedings to protect its assets. But Icahn, after snapping up a 12% stake, demanded that Kinnear take immediate action. Within a week, Pennzoil and Texaco agreed to settle for $3 billion. And Icahn went on his way with a $600 million profit.

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