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How well do you know activist billionaire Carl Icahn?

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Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is always in the news. How well do you know this corporate raider -- or maybe we should call him an activist shareholder?

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How well do you know activist billionaire Carl Icahn?

  1. 1. How Well Do You Know Activist Investor and Billionaire Carl Icahn?
  2. 2. Who Is Carl Icahn? Source: Yahoo! Investor Relations via the Internet Archive. Carl Icahn, 78, is worth $24.5 billion. Any questions?
  3. 3. Often called a "corporate raider" or an "asset stripper," Icahn prefers titles like "shareholder activist." Semantics, Semantics Image: Maribel Bylund.
  4. 4. Icahn was raised in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, by two school teachers. Far Rockaway boardwalk, by Boris Miller via Panoramio. From Queens to Wall Street
  5. 5.  Hospital halls were not for Icahn.  Armed with a Princeton degree in Philosophy, Icahn dropped out of NYU's medical school in 1959.  Joined the army, then moved to Wall Street.  Carl Icahn never looked back. Mother Wanted a Doctor, But...
  6. 6. Icahn's Empire  Today, Icahn Enterprises manages a $14.8 billion investment portfolio.  "Fully wedded to the activist model."  Returns tend to leave even Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway behind: Icahn Enterprises HQ GM Building, 47th floor Source: Wikimedia Commons.
  7. 7. Icahn's Strategy, in His Own Words  "A lot of people died fighting tyranny. The least I can do is vote against it."  "I am an ardent believer that if corporate governance in this country does not change, our economy and markets face great problems."  "When mediocre managements are replaced or at least held accountable, companies become more productive and shareholder value is greatly enhanced."  "Some people get rich studying artificial intelligence. Me, I make money studying natural stupidity." Carl Icahn and CNBC Anchor David Faber. Source: Twitter/@Carl_C_Icahn
  8. 8. Icahn's Strategy, As Seen By His Peers  "[Icahn is] the most competitive person I know. … He's especially good at terrorizing people and wearing down their defenses." -- Wilbur Ross  "People like to get along with people. … Carl doesn’t have that gene quite as strongly as others." -- Warren Buffett  "More often than not, he’s right. They listen to Carl. Changes are made. Companies and corporate America improve. In the process, Carl has consistently done more for shareholders than any CEO. And, of course, Carl makes money." -- T. Boone Pickens
  9. 9. What Has He Done Lately?  Here's just a handful of Icahn's biggest battles — win, lose, or draw.  Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Carl Icahn is almost always in the news.
  10. 10. Pyramid Scheme or "No-Brainer"? Source: Herbalife Icahn owns 16.5% of Herbalife – a stake worth $1.3 billion. He feuded over the company with fellow activist Bill Ackman, of Pershing Square fame. Icahn is winning, and the investors are friends again.
  11. 11. The Big Boys Listen, Too Using a $2.7 billion stake to put pressure on Apple, Icahn got what he wanted: huge share buybacks. (Icahn recently boosted his Apple investment to $4.4 billion. What’s next?)
  12. 12. But Icahn Doesn't Always Win Before Hunger Games and Twilight, Lionsgate beat back a hostile takeover attempt by Icahn. Icahn missed out on profits of more than $1 billion. To repel him, the company withheld important financial information. Lionsgate settled charges of misconduct for $7.5 million. Source: Lionsgate
  13. 13. The Site of Icahn's Most Stinging Defeat... Image: Netflix Icahn once owned 16.9% of Blockbuster Video and sat on its board of directors. The company fell to digital entertainment options, led by Netflix. It was "the worst investment I ever made," says Icahn.
  14. 14. ...and His Biggest Victory…  Just one year after exiting Blockbuster, Icahn built a nearly 10% stake in Netflix.  Shares were cheap after the Qwikster debacle, and Icahn wanted to shake Netflix up. The company set up anti-activist shields, as Icahn targets often do.  After meeting with management, Icahn changed his tune. He became a Netflix supporter instead, dropping his strategy makeover ideas and buyout talk. Source: Netflix
  15. 15. …To the Tune of $800 Million  Icahn sold over half of his Netflix shares in 2013 to a firm managed by his son, Brett Icahn. Carl netted over $800 million on the deal.  Icahn Enterprises still owns 3.7% of Netflix. Image: Netflix
  16. 16. Warren Buffett just bought nearly 9 million shares of this company