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Carl Icahn Sues Illumina Board

Carl Icahn accuses Illumina of breach of fiduciary duties.

Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn – Twitter

Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, is now suing the board of directors at genetic testing company Illumina. Icahn is accusing the firm of breaching their fiduciary duties. Carl Icahn had said previously that he had a problem with the company’s acquisition of cancer diagnostic test maker Grail.

The Securities and SEC and European Commission both saw anti-trust problems with that acquisition and forced Illumina to drop the company.

Carl Icahn said that this was the first time that he had ever sued the board of a company. “I have done so today in light of,” he explained, “among other things, the board’s unconscionable and egregious actions relating to closing the acquisition of Grail without regulatory approval, thus putting Illumina, a great company, in harm’s way.”

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Founded in 1998, Illumina says the firm applies “innovative technologies and revolutionary assays” to the analysis of genetic variation and function, making studies possible that were not even imaginable just a few years ago. These studies will help make the realization of personalized medicine possible.

The lawsuit comes just a few months after Carl Icahn said, “I am happy to see all of the recent events occurring at Illumina. While obviously, I believe the change of CEO should have come meaningfully sooner, it is still a very positive occurrence.”

In June, after a proxy fight with the board of Illumina, Icahn said the new additions to the board, the CEO transition, as well as the change of the Chairman, were “significant positives that should drive value for all stakeholders and human health. In the past, I was instrumental as an activist in bringing Steve MacMillan to Hologic, where, as history shows, he greatly enhanced value for all stakeholders. I am happy to see him as Chairman at Illumina and am also quite pleased with the addition of Scott Ullem to the board. To sum up, all these changes are important steps for Illumina in particular and activism in general.”

Carl Icahn is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is the founder and controlling shareholder of Icahn Enterprises, a public company and diversified conglomerate holding company based in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida. Icahn’s business model is to take large stakes in companies that he believes will appreciate from changes to corporate policy. Subsequently, Icahn then pressures management to make the changes that he believed would benefit shareholders.

Widely regarded as one of the most successful hedge fund managers of all time and one of the greatest investors on Wall Street, he was one of the first activist shareholders and is credited with making that investment strategy mainstream for hedge funds.

Carl Icahn was born in Queens, New York, in 1936. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in philosophy in 1957. He began his career as a stockbroker and later founded his own brokerage firm. In the 1970s, Icahn began investing in distressed companies, often taking control of them and making changes to improve their performance.

In the 1980s, Carl Icahn developed a reputation as a “corporate raider” after profiting from the hostile takeover and asset stripping of Trans World Airlines. However, in recent years, Icahn has shifted his focus to more activist investing, working with companies to improve their performance and create value for shareholders.



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