Activist investor Carl Icahn to launch proxy fight at Illumina (ILMN) – WSJ
By Senad Karaahmetovic
Carl Icahn, a billionaire activist investor, is reportedly preparing to launch a proxy fight at Illumina (NASDAQ:ILMN) and is seeking three seats on the company’s board, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The billionaire claims that the biotech company cost its shareholders ~$50 billion by going ahead with a deal to acquire Grail, which was closed in 2021 despite facing resistance from U.S. and EU antitrust regulators. According to Icahn, the acquisition is now costing the company $800 million annually.
“We are convinced that at least three shareholder representatives are needed on Illumina’s board to attempt to put an end to this insanity now before the reckless decision making escalates into a no-return situation,” Mr. Icahn wrote in the letter, according to WSJ.
The activist investor nominated Vincent Intrieri, Jesse Lynn, and Andrew Teno to Illumina’s board. He also said that he tried to strike a deal with Illumina before starting a proxy battle.
The biotech company responded by asking its shareholders to vote against Mr. Icahn’s nominees.
“Illumina has a diverse, experienced board comprised of directors who bring a range of perspectives to the company and represent the interests of its stockholders,” the company said in a statement.
Illumina shares closed at $194.01 on Friday. The stock is down 4% year-to-date.