Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has opened a hostile takeover attempt to buy the Oshkosh Corporation, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer known as a supplier of trucks for the U.S. military. Icahn offered to spend $32.50 a share, for stock which cost over 20 percent less than that at the close of business on Wednesday. The offer represents a three-billion-dollar purchase attempt for Oshkosh. Icahn also said he would try for a second straight year to nominate a slate of directors for the Oshkosh board – something that stockholders rejected earlier this year.
Icahn has criticized Oshkosh management in the past, saying there have been problems that caused a quote, “value gap” between the stock price and what the company is worth. He said managers have taken what he termed a “passive attitude” to the Oshkosh Corporation’s future. He said Oshkosh should consider selling its JLG aerial lift operation, and consider merging with Navistar - a truck-maker in which he gained three board seats this week. The 76 year-old Icahn owns about 10 percent of Oshkosh, and is the firm’s largest investor.
In a press release, Oshkosh advised shareholders to take no action right now, pending a review of Icahn’s unsolicited offer by the Oshkosh board.