Southwest Gas adopts poison pill to hinder activist Icahn's deal protests

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Southwest Gas Holdings Inc (SWX.N) said on Monday it had adopted a shareholder rights plan - popularly known as a "poison pill" - in a bid to thwart a push by activist investor Carl Icahn to abandon a potential $2 billion deal to buy Questar Pipelines.

Icahn, who has a history of agitating for change at U.S. utilities, disclosed his stake in Southwest earlier this month and made public his objections to the deal to buy Questar from Dominion Energy (D.N), saying Southwest Gas should focus on improving its share price instead. read more

Shareholders' rights will become exercisable after a group buys more than 10% of Southwest's outstanding common stock.

If the rights plan is triggered, all holders of rights, other than any triggering group, will be entitled to acquire shares of Southwest at a 50% discount to the market price, the company said.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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