Xerox Nemesis Icahn Dumped $31.3 Million Stake in Steel-Related Company (Updated)

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who has become a thorn in Xerox’s side ever since Xerox announced plans to merge with Fuji Xerox of Japan, dumped about millions of dollars of shares in a U.S. steel-related company a week before President Trump announced 25 percent tariffs for foreign-made steel and aluminum. Icahn had briefly served as an advisor to President Trump.

A February 22, 2018  filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission shows Icahn sold off his $31.3 million stake in the Manitowoc Company, a leading global manufacturer of cranes for heavy construction based in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, according to the company’s website.

Icahn sold his Manitowoc shares for about $32 to $34 each. After Trump’s tartiff announcement, shares of Manitowoc fell to about $26.

Icahn and fellow investor Deason have been seeking to stop the proposed Xerox merger with Fuji Xerox announced earlier this year, arguing that it would disproportionately favor Fujifilm, which would gain a controlling 50.1 percent of shares of the new combined company. Deason has sued Fujifilm and Xerox in an attempt to stop the merger, and last week filed a lawsuit that seeks to enable him to nominate new Xerox board members.

Icahn Statement

In a public statement, Icahn issued a statement stating that he had no public knowledge of President Trump’s call for tariffs on steel:

“We don’t generally comment on rumors, but the recent media speculation regarding our sale of Manitowoc stock calls for a response. We state for the record: Any suggestion that we had prior knowledge of the Trump administration’s announcement of new tariffs on steel imports is categorically untrue. We reduced our position in Manitowoc for legitimate investment reasons having nothing to do with that announcement.”

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