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Billionaire investor Ichan starts Oshkosh Corp. takeover attempt


OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Investor Carl Icahn started a hostile takeover attempt Thursday to buy the Oshkosh Corporation.

He offered to spend $32.50 a share, for stock that cost over 20 percent less at the close of business Wednesday.

Thursday’s offer represents a $3 billion purchase attempt for Oshkosh, which makes military and government service vehicles. Icahn also said he would try for a second straight year to nominate a slate of directors for the Oshkosh board – something that stockholders rejected earlier this year.

Icahn has criticized Oshkosh management in the past, saying there have been problems that caused a, “value gap” between the stock price and what the company is worth.

He said managers have taken what he calls a “passive attitude” to the Oshkosh Corporation’s future. He said Oshkosh should consider selling its JLG aerial lift operation, and consider merging with Navistar – a truck-maker in which he gained three board seats this week.

The 76-year-old Icahn owns about 10 percent of Oshkosh, and is the firm’s largest investor.

Oshkosh says it plans to take no action right now – and it mentioned Icahn’s failed attempt to elect a board slate earlier.