Market Overview

Carl Icahn Gets 10% Stake In Occidental Petroleum In A Bid To Overhaul Management

Carl Icahn Gets 10% Stake In Occidental Petroleum In A Bid To Overhaul Management

An activist investor Carl Icahn has increased his stake in Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: OXY) to 10%, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

What Happened

Icahn held about 2.5% stake in the oil company at the end of 2019 but recently increased his stake as Occidental's shares dropped following the wider dip in oil prices.

The Icahn Enterprises founder has frequently expressed his disappointment with the Occidental board of management and its chief executive officer Vicki Hollub, especially after the company's $38 billion acquisition of smaller rival Anadarko Petroleum.

The 84-year old is pushing to overhaul the entire board of Occidental, according to the Journal. Other major investors T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) and Dodge & Cox, which together own about 14% of the oil company, are also discontent with the Occidental management, the Journal noted.

"One thing I've learned in life is not to let people manage your affairs who are delusional enough to think they could outbid Chevron and outsmart Buffett," Icahn said, as per the Journal. "And yet this is just what the board has done, and it cost the shareholders $47 billion."

As West Texas Intermediate crude futures dropped as low as $30 a barrel earlier this week, Occidental announced that it was slashing the dividend to 11 cents per share from 79 cents starting July. The company also said it would cut capital spending and other costs.

Price Action

Occidental's shares closed 17.71% lower at $11.80 on Wednesday. The shares recovered in the after-hours session somewhat at $12.45.

The Occidental stock is down nearly 80% year-till-date.


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