July 28, 2021

Carl Icahn, the terror of Wall Street

A dinner at 150 billion dollars (113.45 billion euros)! It is not yet known whether Carl Icahn will invite Apple CEO Tim Cook to his “canteen”, Il Tinello, an Italian restaurant located three blocks from his Manhattan offices, or whether he will recommend Pasta all ‘to him. “Icahn”, the house specialty. But we can already imagine that the menu of this meeting scheduled in the coming days could remain on the stomach of the successor of Steve Jobs. Because Apple is the latest target of the dreaded raider. Carl Icahn believes that the company is undervalued and intends to put pressure on his boss to fix it.

One hundred and fifty billion dollars is, according to Carl Icahn, the amount that Apple should spend to buy back its own shares, with the aim, then, of canceling them and mechanically increasing the share of shareholders in the capital of the company. . Starting with that of Carl Icahn, who this summer put $ 1.5 billion in Apple. Clearly, for lack of a large-scale investment project, the iPhone manufacturer must return to shareholders part of the colossal profits accumulated in recent years.

When Carl Icahn, 77, holds a prey, he never lets go. To place the character, he is one of those who inspired Oliver Stone for his film. Wall Street, shot at the end of the 1980s. The ignoble Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, is a bit like Carl Icahn. “The” raider par excellence.

AWESOME HUNTING BOARD

He has been scouring Wall Street for more than forty years, tracking down companies that tend to fall asleep on their laurels. Its hunting picture is impressive, and would almost end up being confused with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. TWA, RJR Nabisco, Texaco, Phillips Petroleum, Western Union, Viacom, Time Warner, Genzime, Yahoo !, Motorola.

For months, Carl Icahn has been battling with Michael Dell, the founder of the computer assembler, whose decision to take the company off the list he challenges. Opening several fronts simultaneously does not scare him: he is also at work with the distributor of health food Herbalife, or the manufacturer of oil platforms, Transocean. In less than two years, he embarked on about fifteen battles of this kind. In this context, Apple would almost pass for business as usual.

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