Billionaire investor Carl Icahn appears to have ended his bid for Oshkosh Corp. with the sale of roughly half of his stake in the company over the past two weeks.
Icahn’s most recent Oshkosh-related U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings–you can find them here, here, here and here–indicate he has sold 4,402,217 shares, or 4.8 percent of the company’s 91.57 million outstanding shares since Dec. 4. The sales mean the man who was once Oshkosh Corp.’s largest shareholder with a roughly 10 percent stake doesn’t even have to notify the SEC of his acquisitions and sales anymore. (The SEC requires any person or organization that owns 5 percent or more of a company to report sales and acquisitions of stock.)
Icahn’s rapid-fire sale of shares began the day after he disclosed only 22 percent of shareholders took him up on his offer to buy any and all outstanding shares of the company for $32.50-per-share. Icahn had hoped to get commitments representing 25 percent of outstanding shares as evidence of support for his suggestions to break up parts of the company as a route to increase shareholder value, but fell short.
His sale of shares almost certainly brings an end to his 18-month effort to push management to increase shareholder value and sell off parts of the company that began almost as soon as he disclosed his 9.8 percent stake in the company in June 2011. For the second year in a row, Icahn has proposed his own slate of directors for shareholders to vote on during the company’s annual meeting next month. The company says it is still waiting for Icahn to drop his proxy battle for control of the board.