CVR Energy Inc. (NYSE:CVI) have today suffered a loss in their ongoing battle with Carl Icahn over the future of the company. He finds himself in control of 69% of the company today after 55% of the company’s outstanding shares were tendered to him. The activist has also extended his tender offer for an extra two weeks to allow the remaining shares to reconsider his offer in light of the company’s new position. The company holds its annual meeting on May 17th, though Icahn is trying to move it forward, and he will hope to have full control of the company before then at the very least.
CVR have been extremely resistant to the efforts of Mr. Icahn leading to particularly heated exchanges between them in the recent past. The company has released statements denying the value of Icahn’s offer and saying his offer to pay the difference between a higher bid and what he gave for the company would likely be worthless to investors. The company also said the complexity of the deal and the number of conditions it contained would make it very easy for Icahn to back out and leave the company and shareholders losing out. The company advised that no shareholders back the deal. Part of that motivation could be self preservation as Icahn attempts to shake up the board, something he is very likely able to do at this stage.
Icahn took a stake in the company in January and has since pushed his offer for $30 dollars a share as the best option for shareholders. With that Icahn values the company at $2.26 billion. Icahn seeks to sell the company wholly after that, according to his own statements, to a company with expertise in energy and refining. This has been the root of his advice to the company since he became a shareholder. Icahn has stated that if he does manage to get control of the company and sell it on he wouls return anything over $30 a share to the former holders of the company. Today’s news reveals that he has some backing in that one.
With 69% of the company at his back, and holding considerably less than that himself 14.5%, one wonders which of the other shareholders are with him and which are holding out. Other holders of the company must now feel the pressure mounting to get behind him and that includes the board itself. A 69% everybody must be able to see the way the wind’s blowing. There may be some obstinate holders that would delay and possibly derail the plains as of yet.