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Carl Icahn's Latest Contest: AmTrust Financial

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Carl Icahn's Latest Contest: AmTrust Financial
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Carl Icahn on Thursday filed a 13D disclosing a new 14.8-million share stake in AmTrust Financial Services Inc (NASDAQ: AFSI). With 9.38 percent ownership of the company, Icahn is now one of AmTrust’s largest shareholders, behind Chairman and CEO Barry Zyskind and George Karfunkel, one of its founders.

Along with the disclosure, Icahn sent an open letter to the company, railing against its planned go-private deal.

Shares of AmTrust were trading 5 percent higher at $14.10 in Friday’s pre-market session.

AmTrust ‘Blatantly Taking Advantage’ Of Minority Shareholders

“I am strongly AGAINST the proposed going-private transaction and intend to solicit proxies AGAINST the deal,” Icahn wrote.

The deal would sell the company to Zyskind, the Karfunkel family and Stone Point Capital at a valuation of $2.7 billion.

Icahn said the “squeeze out” transaction fails to meet legal requirements that non-controlling shareholders be treated fairly with regards to process and price. He criticized the company for “stealthily” setting a record date of April 5 without informing the market. A vote on the deal is scheduled for June 4.

“Purchasers of the stock throughout the month of April, who rightly assumed they would be able to vote their shares, have been disenfranchised by this Board,” said Icahn.

Icahn called for the record date to be changed and the vote delayed, noting that he and other minority shareholders are in discussions with lawyers to assess their options.

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