BOSTON Aug 20 Billionaire investor Carl Icahn
said on Wednesday that he owns an 8.5 percent stake in Hertz
Global Holdings Inc and plans to pressure the rental car
company's management over accounting issues and operational
Icahn, one of the world's most outspoken activist investors,
spent $470.5 million for the 38.8 million shares he owns,
according to a regulatory filing.
He said he may seek a board seat, something he has done at
many other companies. Last year Hertz adopted a so-called poison
pill to prevent any one shareholder from gaining control of the
company as activist investors began circling.
On Wednesday the company's stock slumped 13 percent when
Hertz withdrew its full-year financial forecast, blaming a
shortage of cars due to motor industry recalls and an accounting
Hertz announced in March that it would spin off its
equipment rental unit and earlier in the year speculation
mounted that Icahn had built up a stake in the company.
But it was not among the roughly two dozen U.S. stocks that
Icahn said he owned at the end of the second quarter when he
released his quarterly filings last week.
At 78 when most people are living off their life's
investments, Icahn is still casting around to make new bets and
is busier than ever in shining the spotlight on management teams
he feels are underperforming.
On Monday he told Reuters that Family Dollar Stores Inc
, a company he owns stock in, has wasted hundreds of
millions of dollars by trying to avoid being bought by rival
Dollar General, as Icahn has suggested.
His second-quarter filing showed that he made a new bet on
Gannett Co and liquidated his position in Forest
Laboratories Inc, which was acquired by Actavis.
And Icahn is not the only investor expressing concern about
management. A spokesman for Fir Tree Partners, which owns a 3
percent stake, said "the CEO has had some serious missteps."
(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Additional reporting by
Sagarika Jaisinghani in Bangalore and Jennifer Ablan in New
York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)