Icahn Nears Truce With Time Warner

Feb 16, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The escalating battle between Time Warner and billionaire financier Carl Icahn appeared to be nearing an end late Thursday after both sides were in negotiations to settle their months-long dispute.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Icahn is preparing to nominate only five people to the Time Warner board, instead of a full slate. Nominating five all but assures that Mr. Icahn’s nominees wouldn’t have full control of the Time Warner board.

The Journal said the nominees are Alan Weber, a former chairman of U.S. Trust; Peter Clapman, a former official at TIAA-CREF; Dale Hanson, a former executive with CalPERS, the California pension fund; Doug Bergeron, a VeriFone executive; and Frank Biondi, the former Universal and Viacom executive who joined forces with Mr. Icahn in January.

Mr. Icahn has until Feb. 19 to submit his slate of nominees, who would be voted on at the company’s annual meeting in May.

The potential peace offering comes just a week after Mr. Icahn outlined a plan to improve shareholder value should he win a proxy fight against Time Warner’s management. As part of that plan, which Mr. Icahn commissioned investment firm Lazard to complete, he proposed breaking up Time Warner into four separate companies.

However, Wall Street appeared to respond to his plan coolly, with many analysts criticizing the report as lacking anything new.