Some nine months after trying to change the make-up of the board at Forest Laboratories, billionaire investor Carl Icahn is having another go.
High River LP and other entities owned by Mr Icahn have made a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission stating an intention to nominate a minority slate of candidates to the Forest board at its next annual shareholder meeting, the date for which has yet to be decided. Mr Icahn currently has a stake of around 9.9%, making him Forest's second-largest stockholder.
In the SEC filing, Mr Icahn stated that he will nominate an undisclosed minority slate of candidates to the board of directors, including ex-Merrill Lynch biotechnology analyst Eric Ende. The latter was nominated with three other candidates last August, but shareholders rejected all four of Mr Icahn's choices.
Forest chief executive Howard Solomon said "we always value constructive input from our shareholders, but we are puzzled and disappointed that Mr Icahn’s first chosen method of engagement since last year is the threat of yet another proxy contest". He added that "we have continued to advance our late-stage R&D pipeline", having recently launched Daliresp (roflumilast) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Viibryd (vilazodone) for major depressive disorder.
Mr Solomon added that the firm has put in solid financial performances "as we managed expected patent expirations" to the antidepressant blockbuster Lexapro (escitalopram). He concluded by saying that "we are optimistic about our future prospects".