December 29, 2014 / 1:02 PM / 3 years ago

Icahn acquires stake in Manitowoc, seeks splitup

(Reuters) - Carl Icahn reported a 7.7 percent stake in Manitowoc Co Inc MTW.N, and became the second activist investor this year to push for a splitup of the company’s crane and foodservice equipment businesses.

Billionaire activist-investor Carl Icahn gives an interview on FOX Business Network's Neil Cavuto show in New York February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Manitowoc’s shares rose 11 percent to $23.25 before the bell on Monday.

Ralph Whitworth’s Relational Investors urged the company to spin off the foodservice equipment business in June, when it reported an 8.5 percent stake in the Wisconsin-based company.

Manitowoc’s crane business has been hurt by weak demand for its rough-terrain and boom trucks, and the company said in October that it expected revenue in the business to decline by a mid-to-high single-digit percentage in 2014.

The crane business contributed nearly 62 percent of Manitowoc’s total revenue of about $4 billion in 2013.

Revenue in the foodservice business, which makes ice machines, refrigerators, deep fryers and other cooking equipment, increased about 3 percent in the third quarter ended Oct. 27, while revenue in the crane business fell 6 percent.

Icahn said he would seek board representation, "if appropriate." (1.usa.gov/1xtzti9)

Icahn said he had not yet had any discussions with the company, which has a market value of about $2.80 billion.

Manitowoc was not immediately available for comment.

Up to Friday’s close, its stock had fallen about 10 percent this year, compared with a 13 percent rise in the S&P 500 index .SPX.

Reporting by Rohit T. K. in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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