Icahn to Nominate Board Members at Time Warner

Sep 13, 2005  •  Post A Comment

An investment group led by financier Carl Icahn said Monday that it will nominate one or more people to serve on the board of directors at Time Warner, the latest move in Mr. Icahn’s attempt to trigger a strategy change at the media giant.

Citing what he called “a difference of opinion” between certain investors and Time Warner’s management over the company’s direction and its weak stock price, Mr. Icahn said that he believed that “having shareholder-nominated directors on boards of directors is a major positive in general.” The nominations would be made at Time Warner’s next annual meeting.

He noted that Time Warner’s failed merger with America Online in 2000 was undertaken with no shareholder-nominated directors on the Time Warner board. He also pointed out that Time Warner’s shares are down 4 percent since Mr. Parsons was named CEO in May 2002.

The announcement of the board nominations is the latest in a series of moves made by Mr. Icahn to effect change at the media giant. Arguing that shareholders are not getting their money’s worth, Mr. Icahn has teamed with a few other investors and begun buying shares in the media giant to force management to follow through with a series of moves Mr. Icahn believes will boost shareholder value.

Among the things he wants Time Warner to do is spin off 100 percent of Time Warner Cable to the public (the company announced it plans to spin off 15 percent of the cable operation), and repurchase up to $20 billion worth of stock (the company’s current buyback plan tops out at $5 billion).