Carl Icahn “JLG Business Worth More Than Oshkosh’s Market Cap”

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Truck maker Oshkosh Corp. (OSK) could sell its JLG access equipment line for more than Oshkosh’s entire market capitalization, activist investor Carl Icahn said Monday.

In a presentation to Oshkosh shareholders released late Monday, Icahn suggested JLG could fetch as much as $2.3 billion, or $25 per Oshkosh share. Oshkosh’s stock closed Monday’s regular trading session at $23.81 a share, giving the company a market capitalization of about $2.2 billion.

The presentation, which was filed in support of Icahn’s slate of six candidates for the Oshkosh board, said the proceeds from the sale could be used to pay down Oshkosh’s debt, allowing the company to pursue acquisitions that would complement Oshkosh’s commercial and military truck lines. JLG manufacturers self-propelled material lifters and elevated work platforms used at construction sites. Sales of JLG equipment slumped badly when U.S. construction activity collapsed, but demand for access equipment has lately showed signs of improvement.

Icahn characterized Oshkosh’s purchase of Pennsylvania-based JLG Industries for $3.2 billion in late 2006 as “the wrong deal, at the wrong price and the wrong time.”

“Management should admit they made a mistake in buying JLG and explore alternatives for the decision,” said the presentation, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Icahn, who is Oshkosh’s largest shareholder, said JLG has been a major distraction for Oshkosh’s management team, causing it to miss opportunities to buy or sell businesses to improve the company’s performance.

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