Carl Icahn Icahn Sends Letter to Oshkosh Shareholders states in bold “I think CHANGE IS NECESSARY”

    Carl Icahn Icahn Sends Letter to Oshkosh Shareholders states in bold "I think CHANGE IS NECESSARY" Carl Icahn today issued the following open letter to shareholders of Oshkosh
    Corporation (NYSE:OSK):

    Dear Fellow Oshkosh Shareholders,

    The  Oshkosh  Annual Meeting will take place Friday, January 27, 2012. Your vote is  important  as  Oshkosh  is  at a CRITICAL JUNCTURE and I believe that my six director  nominees have the necessary skills, experience and objectivity to help fix  the  problems  at  Oshkosh. I think CHANGE IS NECESSARY and crucial for the future  success  of  Oshkosh.

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    In  a  recent  letter  from  the  Oshkosh Chairman and from the CEO, the company
    argues that they should be supported due to a 3-year total shareholder return of
    45%. I find this to be absurd since during this time period the total enterprise
    value  of  Oshkosh decreased by approximately $500 million, from $3.1 billion to
    $2.6  billion.(1)

    Additionally, I am not sure why this management team feels that their past stock
    performance is an attribute for which they are owed loyalty, considering Oshkosh
    was  trading  at  $35  per  share at the start of 2011 and now trades in the low
    $20s.  The  company is also one of the worst performing among its peers in terms
    of  stock  performance  over the past five years, and the worst in terms of 2012
    projected  earnings  growth.

    The board feels that it is useful to list all of the actions they have taken “In
    the  face  of  unprecedented market challenges” without mentioning their current
    dire  situation in terms of falling profitability and low share price. They have
    curiously  focused  on  items  that  are  old  news  such  as:

    –    “Achieved  the  #1  or  #2  brands  in virtually all of its markets” –
    though  this  has not changed for years and was primarily accomplished
    by  acquisitions.

    –    “Developed  innovative, profitable products like the M-ATV” – which is
    now  at  the  end  of  its  production  cycle.

    –    “Reduced  debt  by  approximately  $2  billion” – We believe this debt
    never  should  have  been  incurred in the first place. It was used to
    fund  the acquisition of a company whose earnings subsequently went to
    zero.  Management  then had to seek waivers under this debt to avoid a
    potentially  disastrous  default.  Management  is  now  asking  for
    shareholders  to  be  grateful  that  they  have  paid down this debt.

    –    “Cut  approximately  $200 million in costs in fiscal 2009? – IT IS NOW
    FISCAL  2012.

    I  believe  this  is one of the major problems with the incumbent management and
    board;  they  are congratulating themselves for actions taken in the past rather
    than  addressing  challenges  the  company  faces  in  the  present  and future.

    The  board has suggested that I confirmed at a meeting with management that I do
    not  understand the defense business. This only confirms my belief that they did
    not  understand  me  in  the  first  place.  Irrespective  of  any  apparent
    miscommunication,  there is one thing I do understand about the defense business
    –  defense  contractors should charge their customers a price in excess of their
    cost  which  is  a  concept that seems to me to be lost on the Oshkosh board and
    management  given  the  recent  experience  with  the  FMTV  contract.

    The  board is also alleging that I have provided no substantive ideas to enhance
    shareholder  value. After reviewing the details surrounding the MOVE strategy, I
    firmly  believe that their strategy provides no substantive ideas to proactively
    enhance  shareholder value. To put it differently, I believe that their strategy
    represents  the  same  “wait and see” approach to a recovery which the board has
    been  implementing  for years. Shareholders deserve a real plan to deliver value
    TODAY  centered  on  the  following:

    –    Immediately  explore  alternatives  for  JLG  to reallocate capital to
    debt  reduction,  returning  capital  to  shareholders  and  providing
    opportunities to pursue a more active acquisition strategy surrounding
    core  businesses.  –

    –    Capitalize  on  a  weak  economy  by  consolidating  existing  niche
    businesses  and  entering  new  synergistic  product lines rather than
    waiting  to  see  how  the  economy  progresses.

    –    Aggressively  seek  small acquisitions and joint venture opportunities
    in  core product areas to develop a comprehensive international growth
    strategy.

    –    Position  the  company  to  participate  in  coming  defense  industry
    consolidation  as  both  a  buyer  and/or  a  seller.

    –    Integrate  and  restructure  existing  operations  to  maintain
    profitability, and if the current management is not willing or capable
    of  executing  such  a  restructuring,  finding a management team that
    will.

    I  believe  that  my  nominees  have  excellent  operational  and  financial
    qualifications  and  that  their  experience  would  be  extremely beneficial to
    Oshkosh  and  its shareholders to move this company to develop a value enhancing
    strategy.

    I  urge  shareholders  to  VOTE  THE GOLD CARD FOR ALAPONT, GUSTAFSON, INTRIERI,
    KRONGARD,  MERKSAMER  AND NINIVAGGI to send a message to the company and deliver
    the  necessary change to take Oshkosh into the future. If you have already voted
    the  white  card,  you  can  still change your vote by now VOTING THE GOLD card.

    Sincerely,

    Carl C. Icahn

     

    H/T http://www.streetofwalls.com