March 16, 2018 / 8:39 PM / 9 months ago

Icahn unveils 6.9 percent stake in Newell, could seek board seat

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

(Reuters) - Activist investor Carl Icahn on Friday disclosed a 6.86 percent stake in Sharpie pens maker Newell Brands Inc NWL.N, and said he could seek a board seat at the company, which is already battling another top shareholder over board representation.

In a regulatory filing, the billionaire investor said he would talk to Newell’s management about ways to boost shareholder value including asset sales and possible board representation.

Starboard Value LP, which owns about 4 percent of Newell, has been pushing to replace Newell’s entire board, arguing that the company has underperformed since it acquired Jarden Corp in 2016.

Icahn’s representatives have spoken to Starboard about its proxy contest with Newell, but Icahn has not decided which side to support, the filing showed.

“Although there is clearly no easy short-term fix for (Newell), we believe there is an important role for our brand of activism,” Icahn said.

Shares of Hoboken, New Jersey-based Newell rose 2.4 percent in after-hours trading on Friday.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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