Occidental and Icahn Near Settlement, Suggest Reports
According to news reports, Occidental Petroleum Corp. is nearing a settlement with Carl Icahn following a protracted feud between the company and the activist investor over the past year. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Icahn would likely get two seats on the company’s board of directors along with the right to approve the appointment of a third independent director. Icahn is also reported seeking the return of former company president & CEO Stephen Chazen as Chairman, while Vicki Hollub would stay on as CEO.
The year long battle intensified in recent weeks, with Icahn continuing his scathing criticism of Hollub and Occidental’s board over the company’s overvalued acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. last year. During this time, Icahn also raised his shareholding in the company four-fold, from 2.5% at the end of last year to nearly 10%.
Occidental’s market capitalization has dropped from nearly US$50 billion before the launch of its bid for Anadarko to about US$9 billion at present. Earlier in March, Occidental announced that it was also slashing its dividend by 86%, while cutting capital spending for 2020 by one-third.