Icahn Takes 10% Stake in NetflixIndependent Investor Says Company 'Should Be Consolidated' 10/31/2012 12:14 PM Eastern
Netflix shares closed up 13.9% Wednesday, to $79.24 per share, after billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced a 9.98% stake in the Internet video-streaming company.
Icahn disclosed the investment in a regulatory filing Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
"With the advent of the tablet and Internet-connected TVs, I think no one has a better platform than Netflix to take advantage of it," Icahn said in an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg TV.
Netflix "should be consolidated in my opinion," Icahn said in the interview, mentioning that the company could potentially be acquired by Amazon.com, Google, Microsoft or Verizon Communications. "I think that will happen," he said, but added that there are no definite "plans or proposals."
Icahn said he acquired his stake in Netflix for an average of less than $60 per share. The investor now owns 5,541,066 shares of Netflix, or about 10% of its 55.5 million outstanding shares as of Sept. 30, according to an SEC filing.
In July 2011, Netflix shares topped $300. But they soon tumbled to less than one-third that after the company announced it was splitting DVD and streaming plans in September.
As of Sept. 30, Netflix had 25.1 million U.S. streaming customers and 4.3 million non-U.S. streaming subs.
Icahn has cultivated a reputation as an activist investor, taking stakes in companies he considers undervalued and then lobbying for changes including sales or divestitures.
For example, he pushed Motorola Inc. to split into two entities (which it did in January 2011). Icahn then urged Motorola Mobility to "enhance shareholder value" through its patent portfolio -- just before the company announced a deal to be acquired by Google.