Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has acquired a stake in Newell Brands and could play a role in the current battle over the company’s leadership, according to several published reports.
The New York Post reported that Icahn acquired a “leading equity position” in the company and published reports indicate he has less than a 5% stake in Newell.
In an interview with CNBC, Icahn confirmed his involvement with Newell, noting that he invested because he believes the company is undervalued.
The news of Icahn’s investment in Newell comes just weeks after the company announced that three board members— including former Jarden chairman Martin Franklin— had resigned and were leading an effort with hedge fund Starboard Value LP to replace Newell CEO Michael Polk and the board of directors.
Starboard owns less than 5% of Newell Brands.
Newell Brands acknowledged publicly the plans of Starboard Value and Opportunity Master Fund Ltd. to nominate 10 candidates to stand for election to Newell’s board of directors at the company’s 2018 annual shareholders meeting.
To fill the vacated board positions, Newell named James Craigie and Debra Crew to the board and said it planned to nominate Judith Sprieser at the company’s upcoming annual shareholders meeting.