An institutional investor in Xerox Holdings Corp. has filed a lawsuit against Carl Icahn, the company’s largest shareholder, for allegedly buying stock in HP Inc. with advance knowledge that Xerox would be pursuing an acquisition bid.
The Miami Firefighters Relief and Pension Fund filed its lawsuit in New York state court, accusing Icahn, Icahn Capital LP and High River Limited Partnership of breaching their fiduciary duties to Xerox when buying HP stock. The lawsuit stated that Icahn’s purchase was fueled by knowing “Xerox was either considering making an offer to purchase HP, had already approached HP about a possible merger into or acquisition by Xerox or of the obvious merits of Xerox’s potential acquisition of HP.”
Bloomberg reported that Icahn held no HP stock as of June 30, but by September he owned a 4.24% share in HP, making him the company’s fifth largest shareholder. He also owns a nearly 11% share of Xerox stock, making him the largest shareholder in the Norwalk-headquartered company. Xerox publicly announced its desire to acquire HP in November but has been repeatedly rebuffed the company’s $33.5 billion offer, and Icahn issued his own appeal to HP shareholders to accept the offer.
“I cannot believe that the recalcitrance of HP’s board is driven by any real confidence in its standalone restructuring plan, which the market, shareholders and analysts met with extreme indifference and which seems to amount to little more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” Icahn said in a letter to HP shareholders.
Icahn, a former Bedford resident, did not publicly comment on the lawsuit.