Icahn Tender Offer For Oshkosh Fails Miserably, JLG Spinoff Unlikely

You can’t win them all. Activist investor Carl Icahn suffered another defeat yesterday in his war on the Oshkosh Corporation (OSK) as only 22% of shareholders agreed to his tender offer.

As you will recall (or if you don’t, check out our earlier pieces here and here), Mr. Icahn wanted the company to spin off its lift equipment unit, JLG, into a separate entity, but management didn’t agree. A messy public battle ensued and the company passed a restrictive poison pill…errr I mean shareholder rights plan. Undeterred, Mr. Icahn pressed ahead with a tender offer, hoping to obtain the necessary votes in order to install a more loyal slate of directors. He pledged to continue his pursuit of a spinoff if he was able to obtain a mere 25% of the shares, a shrewd maneuver according to this Dealpolitik piece. Alas, he couldn’t even achieve that modest goal and Mr. Icahn will honor his agreement to leave the company alone…for now.

The stock dropped over 3.5% on the news even though several analysts sided with management’s position. Given the tender offer’s failure and management’s belief that it is a critical piece of the business, a spinoff seems highly unlikely here. If something new happens, we will keep you updated.

Disclosure: Author holds no position in any stock mentioned.