I-Cahn't Quit You (Without Losing a Bundle in Yahoo Shares)
Champagne wishes and caviar dreams are now but a memory for billionaire shareholder-activist Carl Icahn, who lost about $125 million today by selling off 16 percent of his ever-losing stake in Yahoo.
The sale of 12.7 million shares at just under $15 a piece is a far cry from the hopes that the famously prickly Icahn had when he started his quest to bring about change and riches for himself by investing in the stock of the turmoil-plagued Internet giant in 2008.
Icahn went far in waging a proxy fight for control of the Yahoo (YHOO) board.
He got on the board all right, along with nabbing two other seats, but that’s about all he got.
No $40-billion-plus sale to Microsoft (MSFT), a much lesser search deal and yet another troubled investment for Icahn in a year of troubled investments.
As it turned out, he came to Silicon Valley, he saw, he did not conquer.
Nonetheless, Icahn still has a 4.5 percent stake in Yahoo, or about 63 million shares.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Icahn said the move was to balance his portfolio, but that he still was bullish on Yahoo, its recent search deal with Microsoft and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz.
Which is also rich, given that she just dissed him again publicly in a piece in Forbes, tossing off a saucy insult:
“Icahn is just another shareholder. What’s he going to do, fire me?”
Well, in a tiny little step today, he kind of did that to Yahoo.