Corporate raider Carl Icahn escalated his ongoing battle with Time Warner Inc., saying he and three other institutional investors plan to propose nominees for one or more board seats at the media giant’s next annual meeting of shareholders.
Just who Icahn would seek to put on the board is unclear, although it is possible that he would seek that seat for himself.
He said his group — consisting of Franklin Mutual Advisers LLC, Jana Partners LLC and S.A.C. Capital Advisors — also recommend that Time Warner at least begin the process for a 100% spinoff of its cable assets (Time Warner Cable) and initiate a Dutch auction tender process for $20 billion Time Warner shares.
Time Warner has already proposed spinning off 16% of Time Warner Cable next year (after its merger with Adelphia Communications Corp. is complete) and a two-year, $5 billion share repurchase program.
The Icahn group, which owns about 2.6% of Time Warner stock, had been said to be making moves late last month to accumulate as much as 10% of the media giant’s outstanding stock.
A Time Warner statement said the company was carefully reviewing “a range of options to increase the value of our company, including those proposed by Mr. Icahn and his group.”