Television

Corporate raider Icahn in talks with Time Warner for increasing share holder value

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MUMBAI: Corporate raider and financier Carl Icahn met with executives at media conglomerate Time Warner a couple of days ago. He will continue to have talks regarding how the company can deliver more value to shareholders.

Icahn met with Time Warner CEO Richard D. Parsons and laid out his ideas for increasing the value of the company's stock.

Media reports indicate that Icahn is suggesting that the company conduct an immediate repurchase of $20 billion worth of shares and completely spin off of its cable television subsidiary. Icahn says that he has joined forces with three other investors who collectively own about 2.6 per cent of Time Warner to press for changes. Icahn is believed to have shares worth over $100 million in the company.

Time Warner has committed to buy back up to $5 billion of its common stock and plans to pay a dividend worth about $900 million. Time Warner will issue shares in its cable unit, selling a 15 per cent stake to the public. But Icahn could push the company to sell the entire unit, What is interesting is that despite that fact that AOL is not faring as well as expected Icahn is not pushing for the sale of the internet division.

However, reports state that Icahn might push for a sale of the publishing unit which could bring in over $13 billion. In a statement Icahn said, "At the end of the meeting, we both observed that we had, at the very least, one thing in common: We both believed Time Warner was meaningfully undervalued, and that we both wanted very much to rectify this situation. We agreed to communicate again shortly."

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