Icahn offers to buy Oshkosh Corp, shares jump

Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:09pm EDT
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By Scott Malone

(Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn offered to buy all the outstanding shares of Oshkosh Corp (OSK.N: Quote) Thursday for a 21-percent premium to the U.S. truckmaker's closing price on Wednesday, sending its shares to their highest in more than a year.

Icahn, the company's largest shareholder with a 9.45 percent stake, said the only condition on his $32.50-a-share offer was that shareholders elect a slate of directors whom he will nominate to the company's board.

"Mismanagement of this company has resulted in a lost decade of shareholder value," Icahn said in a statement. "Oshkosh needs proactive shareholders to bring a proactive management team together to weather a volatile economy."

Oshkosh said its board would advise shareholders of its position on the offer within 10 business days, and suggested that shareholders not act on the offer until the board has reviewed it.

Oshkosh shareholders had, in January, voted down an Icahn-backed slate of directors.

Shares of the company surged 12 percent to $29.98 on the news, earlier hitting $31.30, their highest since July 2011.

"It's not an unattractive price by any means, but it's surely not a fully valued price," said Eli Lustgarten, an analyst who covers Oshkosh at Longbow Research.

Lustgarten has a "buy" rating on Oshkosh with a $34 target price.   Continued...

Investor Carl Icahn speaks at the Wall Street Journal Deals & Deal Makers conference, held at the New York Stock Exchange, June 27, 2007. REUTERS/Chip East