MCCONNELLSBURG, Pa. — Billionaire investor Carl Icahn announced today he plans to make an unsolicited takeover bid to acquire Oshkosh Corp. for almost $3 billion. Icahn said he would nominate his own group of directors in a bid to take control over Oshkosh Corp., owner of aerial work platform manufacturer JLG Inc. and a manufacturer of fire trucks and special vehicles for defense.
Icahn, Oshkosh's largest investor with nearly 10 percent of the company's stock, said he intends to offer $32.50 a share, or about $3 billion, for the remainder of Oshkosh's stock. The price represents a 21-percent premium to Oshkosh's stock price on Wednesday. But the offer depends on Icahn being able to gain control of the company's board.
Icahn said if he is able to acquire at least 25 percent of the company's outstanding stock in the coming weeks, he will offer an alternative slate of directors for election at the company's annual meeting early next year. He added that if he is able to acquire at least 40 percent of the stock, adding to the 10 percent he already owns, he will demand that the company's board immediately schedule a shareholders’ meeting so his board candidates can be elected and complete the purchase of all the shares.
"We urge shareholders to tender shares and send a strong message to Oshkosh management to accept our offer and close promptly," Icahn said in a written statement.
Icahn tried to gain seats on the board last year. He has been critical of the company’s management team for what he calls a passive attitude.
Icahn is ranked No. 21 on the Forbes list of 50 top billionaires in the United States, with a net worth of $14.8 billion.
McConnellsburg, Pa.-based JLG is the world’s largest manufacturer of aerial work platforms. Oshkosh Corp. is headquartered in Oshkosh, Wis.