For weeks, there had been speculations that an activist investor was acquiring a stake in Time Warner. Reuters named Icahn as the one building an equity stake in the media company citing sources familiar with the matter.
A separate report from the New York Post on Sunday also indicated that Icahn was believed to be investing in Time Warner and would “take another run at the company” based on information from unidentified sources.
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Icahn annoyed by speculators using his name to make profit
Icahn does not own a share in Time Warner.“It annoys me that certain speculators use my name to make profits at the expense of other shareholders,” said the activist investor to CNBC.
In 2006, Icahn launched a break-up campaign against Time Warner. He demanded breaking-up the media company into four separate entities—a content company, a cable services company, a publishing company, and an internet company but his effort did not succeed.
However, Time Warner’s then CEO Richard Parson agreed to buy back more shares to convince Icahn to stop pushing the break-up and a leadership change. At the time, the activist investor wanted former Viacom CEO Frank Biondi to replace Parsons.
Based on Icahn’s statement, he is currently not preparing for another boardroom fight with the media company.
In 2014, Time Warner rejected the $80 billion acquisition proposal of Twenty-First Century Fox, which eventually decided to withdraw its bid due to the negative reaction of shareholders toward the share price of the company.
Other activist investors own stakes in Time Warner
Data from Thomson Reuters showed that Keith Meister’s Corvex Management owns a 3.7% stake in Time Warner as of September 30. Meister previously served as CEO of Icahn Enterprises GP.
Jana Partners and Greenlight Capital each owns approximately 4% stake in the media company as of September 30. The data does not show Icahn as an investor in the media company.
The stock price of Time Warner climbed more than 2% to $71.37 per share at the time of this writing around 2:34 in the afternoon in New York.