Carl Icahn to start a proxy battle for Southwest Gas

Carl Icahn to start a proxy battle for Southwest Gas

Oct 14 Reuters - Activist investor Carl Icahn said on Thursday that he plans to start an offer for shares in Southwest Gas Holdings Inc and launch a proxy battle to replace the directors on the board of the gas distribution company.

Icahn's move comes days after the company adopted a shareholder rights plan to block a move by the investor to abandon Southwest Gas' potential $2 billion deal to buy Questar Pipelines.

Icahn Enterprises intends to initiate a tender offer for outstanding shares of Southwest at $75.00 per share in cash, it said in an open letter https: 3 vcCZ 0 Y to the company shareholders.

It will also start a proxy contest to elect a full slate of directors in the annual meeting of the company's stockholders, according to the letter.

The company had earlier this month agreed to acquire Dominion Energy Inc., a gas transportation and storage business owned by Questar Pipeline Co, in an all-cash transaction.

Carl Icahn, holding a significant stake in Southwest Gas, has for now been pushing the company to abandon the potential acquisition and instead focus on improving its share price.

Icahn announced earlier this month that Southwest Gas was trading below its peers, with financial performance held back by high expenses and a poor relationship with regulators. Icahn also questioned whether the company board could hold management accountable, since many directors have been in place for over a decade.