Billionaire Icahn interested in Navistar and Oshkosh merger

By Lindsey Anderson21 October 2011

According to multiple news reports, billionaire investor Carl Icahn is interested in Navistar International Corp. merging with Oshkosh Corp., though nothing formal has been announced.

Icahn currently holds 10 percent stakes in both Navistar and Oshkosh and is said to be in discussions with Navistar about obtaining a seat on its board of directors. Icahn is currently the second-largest investor in Navistar.

Navistar International Corp. manufactures trucks and engines. Oshkosh Corp., who owns access equipment manufacturer JLG Industries, Inc. manufactures specialty trucks and truck bodies and also produces military all-terrain vehicles.

According to reports, Navistar and Oshkosh have lost a combined 38 percent in market value during 2011. Oshkosh shares have been halved during the year though they rose 6.6 percent early Friday on the New York Stock Exchange to $19.62, while Navistar shares rose 2.6 percent to $41.16. Oshkosh is valued at $1.8 billion and Navistar at $3 billion.

Neither Navistar or Oshkosh could be reached for comment. It isn't evident if either company would be open to a merger, though the industry has long discussed a Navistar-Oshkosh venture, which would cut costs for the two companies.

Recently, Navistar developed a joint plan with Caterpillar to launch on-highway trucks together to markets outside of North America. This follows the North American launch of the first truck from the joint venture, the CT 660 at the ConExpo show in March this year.

Navistar and Caterpillar originally set up a 50:50 joint venture called NC2 to market their trucks outside North America, but under a new agreement this company will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navistar. It will market both the Caterpillar branded trucks and Navistar's own International brand.

KHL will report updates as they become available.

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