Activist investor Carl Icahn sues Occidental Petroleum over $38 billion Anadarko merger
Activist investor Carl Icahn is trying to torpedo a $38 billion merger between Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., labeling the deal as “fundamentally misguided and hugely overpriced.”
In a lawsuit filed on Thursday in Delaware court, Icahn revealed he owns $1.6 billion in Occidental stock, according to Bloomberg. The billionaire is seeking records related to the transaction and is considering joining with other shareholders to try to force a revamp of the Houston-based company’s board of directors.
The lawsuit raises questions of Occidental CEO Vicki Hollub’s ability to lead the company through such a high-profile merger, as well as her decision to sell Anadarko’s $8.8 billion assets in Africa to French firm Total S.A to reduce its debt.
“From all appearances it seems that Occidental sold these assets in a quickly arranged fire sale before it even owned them,” the suit reads.
|APC||ANADARKO PETROLEUM CORP.||70.90||-0.44||-0.62%|
|OXY||OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION||51.76||-0.24||-0.46%|
The Icahn lawsuit is the latest saga for the deal. Earlier this month, Chevron backed off its own $33 billion takeover attempt of Anadarko after Occidental submitted a superior bid.
Famed investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway provided a $10 billion preferred stock investment to assist Occidental in its quest to top Chevron, a deal that is also discussed in Icahn’s lawsuit.
“A ninety-minute deal ‘negotiation’ with one of history’s canniest investors, is no place to gain M&A experience — at least if you care about protecting your stockholders,” the suit reads.
Spokespersons for Occidental and Anadarko did not immediately respond to request for comment.