* To pay annual div of $4/depositary unit
* Previous annual div was $1.40/depositary unit
* Shareholders can opt for either cash or depositary units
* Shares up more than 5 percent
Feb 11 (Reuters) - Icahn Enterprises LP, controlled by Carl Icahn, will increase its annual dividend to $4.00 per depositary unit from $1.40, payable either in cash or depositary units.
Depositary units of Icahn Enterprises, which the billionaire investor said have gained about 817 percent since it adopted an activist philosophy in 1999, were up 5.5 percent at $63.25 in early trading on the Nasdaq on Monday.
Icahn, who holds about 93 percent of Icahn Enterprises, has indicated that he intends to take units instead of cash for his holding, the company said.
If all shareholders took cash instead of units, the company would have to pay out about $420 million. The company had about $3.14 billion in cash and cash equivalents as of Sept. 30, according to its third-quarter earnings statement.
Unit holders have until March 14 to decide whether to take cash or units.
Icahn, who has stakes in Netflix Inc and crude oil refiner CVR Energy Inc among others, is currently locked in a battle with activist investor William Ackman over nutritional supplement company Herbalife Ltd.
Ackman says Herbalife is an unsustainable pyramid scheme destined to collapse, a claim rejected by Icahn.