Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has withdrawn an offer to buy the outstanding shares of Oshkosh Corp., but might attempt another proxy battle for control of the company’s board of directors. In a statement this week, Icahn said the owners of about 22 percent of outstanding shares in the company, or about 20.3 million shares, committed to his offer to acquire the shares for $32.50 per share.
“We have said in a number of communications to shareholders since the outset of this tender offer that we would not extend our offer unless at least 25 percent of the outstanding shares are tendered in the offer,” said Icahn in a statement. “Therefore, we are returning all tendered shares and we will not extend the offer.”
Oshkosh Corp. responded by thanking its shareholders for rebuffing Icahn’s attempt to gain control of the company.
“The board and management team thank shareholders for their continued support,” Oshkosh said in a statement posted on its website. “We remain focused on continuing to successfully execute the company’s MOVE strategy and on generating substantial value for our shareholders…. Given today’s tender results, Oshkosh looks forward to moving ahead without the unnecessary expense and distraction of a proxy contest.”
However, Icahn did not withdraw his nomination of 13 directors for the Oshkosh Corp. board.
While Oshkosh’s defense segment has decreased net income after the expiration of some high-margin contracts, its JLG Industries aerial work platform business has posted significant year-over-year growth. JLG posted a 40.4-percent increase to $814.6 million in revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2012, compared with $580.1 million the previous year.
Oshkosh Corp. is based in Oshkosh, Wis. Its JLG aerial division is based in McConnellsburg, Pa.