NYC Public Pension Funds Oppose Carl Icahn’s Apple Buyback Plan

New York City’s comptroller is the latest to oppose Carl Icahn’s $50 billion share buyback proposal for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

On Sunday, in a note to its clients, proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services called activist investor Car Icahn’s proposal unnecessary.

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Carl Icahn’s proposal puts handcuffs on Apple management

New York City’s comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, plans to urge other investors on Monday to vote against activist investor Carl Icahn’s proposal. The comptroller argued that Carl Icahn’s proposal puts handcuffs on Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s management. He said Apple’s executive team is better positioned to decide the company’s financial path.

In a telephone interview Sunday, Mr. Stringer said: “I strongly believe this proposal is unnecessary, risky and shortsighted. It’s easy to get a quick financial hit off a large company, but I think it’s a lot harder to plan for the future.”

Mr. Stringer oversees five pension funds that together own $1.3 billion worth of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares. His entry marks the latest sign of a brewing battle ahead of Apple’s annual investor meeting on February 28.

The New York City comptroller’s office has argued that Carl Icahn has overstepped his bounds and is pushing Apple into riskier territory. Mr. Stringer said these financial decisions shouldn’t be on one investor’s terms.

Carl Icahn’s $50 billion buyback proposal

Activist investor Carl Icahn managed to get a non-binding proposal placed on Apple’s annual meeting proxy ballot. He wants Apple to buy back $50 billion worth of shares as soon as possible. He has been urging shareholders to vote for his proposal. However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) won’t have to comply if shareholders vote in favor of his proposal. Earlier, Carl Icahn sought from Apple an immediate $150 billion share buyback.

Carl Icahn’s proposal aims to reward short-term investors

New York City Comptroller is the body that manages almost $150 billion of funds. Mr. Stringer said Carl Icahn is proposing to mortgage Apple’s future in order to reward short-term investors who are looking to cash out. Reiterating NYC’s commitment, he said the body is investing in Apple for the long haul. He termed Carl Icahn’s buyback plan as simply too large, too risky and too short-sighted.