Feeds

Icahn to Cook: 'Buy back $150bn of Apple's stock, or tell me why you won't'

'I'm certainly not threatening anything,' says activist investor – yet

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Fresh from his flopped attempt to prevent Dell from going private, activist investor Carl Icahn has turned his attention towards Apple, advising CEO Tim Cook to up his stock-buyback plan to a cool $150bn.

"I'm certainly not threatening anything, and I'm not talking about some proxy fight, but I will tell you that on this issue I feel very strongly and I'm not going to go away on it – meaning that we're going to continue this dialog," Icahn said in a CNBC interview on Tuesday.

"And, hey, they may very well say 'Too bad, just forget it', then we have to decide what to do," he said.

To put that $150bn recommendation in some perspective, in its most recent filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Apple reported holding $146.6bn in cash and short-term and long-term marketable securities, and as of Tuesday morning it had a market capitalization of over $433bn.

But Icahn isn't suggesting that Apple drain its reserves to fund the $150bn buyback. "You can borrow money so cheaply today," he said. "A company like Apple, it's going to cost them three billion a year to borrow this money, they're making, y'know, fifty-billion cash flow, and they can buy a stock that they all consider to be [valued] cheaply."

In March 2012, Apple said that it would spend $45bn in a combined dividend and share-repurchase program, and it more than doubled that chunk o' change this April to $100bn.

Not enough, says Icahn, who told CNBC that he holds nearly $2bn worth of shares in Cook's company – a pittance when compared to Apple's market valuation. It's clear, however, that he will use whatever leverage that $2bn gives him to increase the value of his stake through the assistance of a major stock-buyback expenditure, however it's funded.

Icahn – no shrinking violet – is demanding that if Apple rejects his request, he be given the reason why.

"Why wouldn't you do it? It makes no sense not to," he told CNBC. "I want a reason. And the reason can't just be, 'Well, the board decided'. We're not accepting that. We're not going to accept this 'Well, it's business judgment, too bad'. That's complete bull as far as I'm concerned." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.