After acquiring a 10% stake in JetBlue, activist Carl Icahn won two seats on the board of directors

Corporate raider Carl Icahn could be on a new streak starting today as he turns 88th birthday. JetBlue Airways announced Friday that it had reached an agreement to grant a seat on the company’s board of directors to two representatives of Icahn’s companies. The quick deal with JetBlue came just days after utility American Electric Power said it had reached an agreement with Icahn to seat two of his representatives on its board of directors.

At JetBlue, Icahn disclosed his 9.9% ownership stake on Monday, the same day new CEO Joanna Geraghty took over. It was also the same day that AEP announced its deal with Icahn. His holdings in the two companies – and wins – marked a public return to his well-worn activist-investor background after weathering criticism from short-seller Hindenburg Research last year and promising investors he would stick to it who does it best: agitating for change in the board or CEO role and creating shareholder value.

In the joint statement, Geraghty said the company is working to restore its earning capacity. The airline has been in trouble since a federal judge struck down a merger between JetBlue and Spirit Airlines a month ago.

JetBlue shares rose 16% when Icahn disclosed his stake this week and 5.9% in after-hours trading after the announcement, Bloomberg reported.

“We are executing more than $300 million in revenue initiatives this year and are on track to achieve significant cost savings through our structural cost program, fleet modernization and fixed cost base reductions.” , Geraghty said, adding that JetBlue welcomes “the input of our new board members as we move forward with this common goal.”

Icahn said he appreciates the “constructive engagement” with JetBlue’s board and executives.

“We look forward to working with them in the future,” he said.

JetBlue has named Icahn Enterprises general counsel Jesse Lynn and Icahn Capital portfolio manager Steven Miller, the company said in an SEC filing. Lynn has served on boards of directors including Crown Holdings, FirstEnergy and Xerox. Miller is a member of the board of directors of Dana Incorporated, Bausch Health Companies and previously served on the board of directors of Xerox.

JetBlue President Peter Boneparth said Lynn and Miller will add “useful insights” to the board as the company charts a path for growth. The two new board members will be non-voting observers when they join the board on Feb. 26 and will not have the right to vote until after this year’s annual meeting of shareholders.

Meanwhile, Icahn’s $120 million stake in AEP netted board seats for Icahn Enterprises senior managing director Hunter Gary, who joined AEP’s board alongside Henry Linginfelter, former executive vice president of Southern Company Gas.

Sign up for the CFO Daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the trends, issues and executives shaping corporate finance. Sign up for free.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *