UPDATE 2-Icahn wins control of CVR Energy board

Mon May 21, 2012 8:23am EDT

May 21 (Reuters) - Carl Icahn said he has raised his stake in CVR Energy Inc to 80 percent, giving the billionaire investor total control over the oil refiner's board more than three months after he made an offer to acquire the company.

Icahn replaced seven of CVR's nine-member board with his nominees last month, when he won majority control of the company with a $30-a-share tender offer that raised his stake to 69 percent.

The corporate raider turned activist investor extended the offer and acquired the additional 11 percent stake that gives him the right to replace the last two members of the board.

Icahn, who wants to resell CVR, is still short of the 90 percent he needs to merge the oil refiner with one of his affiliates.

The offer for CVR includes a contingent value right that would give shareholders additional cash if Icahn manages to sell the company for more than $30 per share.

But selling CVR will not be easy, Icahn has acknowledged himself in a March 19 letter to CVR's shareholders.

CVR, which owns refineries in Coffeyville, Kansas and Wynnewood, Oklahoma, has benefited from lower prices for the crudes it processes.

Midwest crude oil prices have been cheaper than those on the Gulf Coast because of high inventories at the oil delivery hub of Cushing, Oklahoma.

That advantage is expected to wane soon, however, as the Seaway crude pipeline begins to relieve some of the glut at Cushing. That could make CVR less attractive to buyers, analysts have said.

CVR Energy shares, which have gained about 10 percent since Icahn made his first bid for the company, closed at $30.47 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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