Icahn has Time Warner board picks?
Paper says the investor is set to propose directors for the media giant; will include former head of Calpers.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Carl Icahn will unveil his slate of directors for the board of media conglomerate Time Warner Thursday, according to a published report, which said the former chief executive of a powerful pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, will be one of his candidates.
The New York Times reports that Dale Hanson, a vocal corporate governance advocate who helped make Calpers one of the most influential institutional investors during his time there, could add some momentum to Icahn's bid to control the world's largest media conglomerate. Icahn is proposing to break up the company into four separate units.
Hanson, who the Times reports now runs a venture capital fund called the American Partners Capital Group, could not be reached for comment by the paper, while Time Warner spokespersons declined to comment.
Calpers owns just under 20 million shares of Time Warner, according to shareholder tracking service LionShares.com, which gives the pension fund about a 0.44 percent stake in the company. Icahn and his allies own a 3.28 percent stake in Time Warner, according to his most recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The Icahn group has received U.S. antitrust clearance for its stake in Time Warner, Reuters reported Thursday. Antitrust authorities completed their review of the transaction made by Icahn Partners LP without taking any action, the wire service said, citing a Federal Trade Commission notice.
The Times reports Icahn is expected to name a handful of other executives and corporate governance experts as candidates for the Time Warner board. A former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, who was not identified, could be one of the candidates, according to the paper, although it reported it is unclear whether Icahn would propose a full slate of 14 directors.
In another proxy fight that Icahn is leading, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that an ally of his criticized a decision by Korean tobacco company KT&G Corp. to let Icahn's three candidates for its board compete for two board positions, along with two company-nominated candidates. Those two spots on the company's board will not sit on the company's audit committee, according to the Journal report.
"We believe such a decision, without justifiable reason, infringes our statutory right to submit shareholder proposals," Icahn ally Warren Lichtenstein, who heads Steel Partners, wrote in a letter this week to KT&G Chief Executive Kwak Young Kyoon, according to the Journal.
KT&G declined to comment on the letter, telling the paper it is reviewing the document and will respond by Friday.
For a look at how some large Time Warner shareholders view Icahn's plans, click here.
For more on Icahn's plans to split up Time Warner, click here.