Icahn sends open letter to Oshkosh shareholders

By Murray Pollok09 November 2012

The running battle between Oshkosh Corp and billionaire investor Carl Icahn has continued with Mr Icahn accusing Oshkosh of “grossly misrepresenting” his share offer.

In a 1200-word open letter to Oshkosh investors Mr Icahn said Oshkosh’s recent letter to shareholders was “a blatant and insulting obfuscation of my intent and the facts” and repeated his views that the company’s value would increase under a new management team and through the sale of JLG Industries.

Oshkosh has not yet responded directly to this latest letter from Mr Icahn.

Mr Icahn said; “I believe that focused and dedicated management teams, similar to the one which was able to build JLG into a valuable company from 1999 to 2006, will be able to drive consistent and substantial improvement in operating performance at JLG.

“Under the stewardship of the current Oshkosh board, there have been five different heads of JLG in the last five years. How can a company develop a long-term growth and profitability strategy with a revolving door of senior managers, almost none of whom have any real industry experience?”

Oshkosh has previously said that Mr Icahn’s offer was self-serving and undervalued the business. Charles Szews, Oshkosh’s chief executive officer, said the offer “does not compensate all shareholders for the compelling growth we expect to achieve in the market recovery. As demonstrated by our fiscal 2012 fourth quarter results, we are delivering on our plan and gaining momentum.”

Mr Icahn is trying to wrest control of Oshkosh either by acquiring its shares or by getting support for his list of directors at the upcoming Oshkosh AGM. Shareholders have until 3 December to decide to take up Mr Icahn’s share offer.

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