NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who regularly rankles corporate executives with heated demands for strategic change backed by the threat of a proxy battle, is finally going live with his blog.
“I think the time has finally come when people are starting to focus on the many abuses in a number of companies in corporate America and the damage they do,” the 71-year-old financier and hedge fund operator told Reuters on Wednesday.
“While there are many good companies, there is still a lot to be focused on in others.”
Icahn said the blog would go live “in a week or two.”
The shareholder activist, who is never short of strong opinions about the state of corporate governance in the United States, disclosed last February that he had set up his blog, The Icahn Report. But he has contributed no content to it, saying his lawyers stymied his free expression.
Icahn said the blog, icahnreport.com, would air general commentary about corporate governance and target specific companies, which is likely to put some on the defensive. He would not name any of his intended targets.
The blog will arrive in the wake of Icahn's successful, highly publicized demands for change in companies including Motorola Inc and Time Warner Inc, both of which ultimately gave in to his demands that they change leadership and spin off major divisions.
He also was instrumental in clearing roadblocks in Oracle Corp's $8.5 billion bid to acquire BEA Systems in January. Icahn holds nearly 1 million BEA Systems shares.
Not all of Icahn's investments work out, however, notably real estate developer WCI Communities Inc, whose shares have collapsed over the past year as the high-end condominium market dried up. Icahn is WCI's largest shareholder, with 4.8 million shares, according to regulatory filings.
Icahn, whose net worth is estimated at $14.5 billion by Forbes, dismissed the lackluster performance in some stock plays, saying investors need to be patient.
He pointed out that he bought the Stratosphere Casino and other Las Vegas properties a decade ago for around $300 million. Last week, he closed on a deal to sell them to real estate funds managed by Goldman Sachs for $1.3 billion, a $1 billion gain.
By Dane Hamilton