Carl Icahn continued his takeover attempt of Clorox (CLX) on Wednesday, this time bumping up his original bid to $10.7 billion.
Icahn initially bid 10.2 billion, or $76.50 a share, on Friday but the Clorox board rejected his offer on Monday. The company has also stated it will adopt a poison pill to try to fend off Icahn from taking over the company.
But a poison pill might not be necessarily given Icahn's corporate raider history. He might not even be interested in taking over the company, as evident when he strongly encouraged other companies to get involved in the bidding.
In his Friday bid letter, Icahn stated that companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Colgate Palmolive could all be better options for the company than him.
We understand that we are a financial buyer that lacks inherent synergies and therefore strongly suggest that the Board aggressively pursue a transaction with a strategic buyer, which should attract a higher price, Icahn said.
Without knowing Icahn's history one might question why he would encourage bidding against himself, but it fits right into his M.O.
With his Friday bid Icahn ensured himself a win-win situation. Either he would get the company at a discounted price or his bid would encourage more competition, thus driving up the stock price.
Both of his bids have done the trick, as the stock has soared on Friday and Monday after his announcements. As of 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, Clorox stocks were up 3.65% to $75.25.
These bids have generated speculation amongst analysts that Icahn might be employing a pump and dump strategy. Duncan Williams analyst Jay Suskind told The Street that Icahn could be trying to get the stock up to $100 before selling his share.
That at least played into his decision to make the initial bid on Friday, according to Suskind.
It puts it in the headlines because he timed it that way. It's a slow summer Friday, Suskind told The Street. Over the weekend, there will (be) lots of talk about and, all of a sudden, it forces someone to make a move. This will get the suitors out there because they don't want to be late to the party.
Although no suitor has arrived yet, Icahn already has financially gained from his deft moves. He originally bought Clorox stock in December when the company was trading at $63.15 a share.