We talk about Ichan in class a great deal. He is an interesting character. Probably most famous for launching many takeover (or supposed takeover attempts) and being rumored for greenmail, in my opinion his bigger role is monitoring firms' management and helping disseminate information on both managerial practices and apparent undervaluation. (indeed looking at a study of Q values of firms he owns ala Rene Stulz)
From the NY Times:
"Mr. Icahn’s own record as a deal-maker — either as a bidder or as a catalyst for a takeover — is spotty at best.....
Investors in Clorox appeared hopeful that Mr. Icahn will succeed this time, pushing shares in the company up 7.3 percent by midday to $73.51. Still, the price remains below Friday’s offer price, indicating some apparent skepticism"
"The unsolicited offer is a strategy Mr. Icahn has turned to time and again: 15 times since 1997, according to the data provider FactSet Shark Repellent. He most recently bid $1.9 billion for Mentor Graphics, with the aim of flushing out a potential bidder."