Carl Icahn, last week:
Purchasing Express Scripts may well become one of the worst blunders in corporate history…. We cannot fathom how Cigna’s management and board saw fit to pay an all-time high price for Express Scripts with so many unknown risks lying dead ahead….
Ask yourself before you vote – why should Cigna pay $60 billion for the privilege of taking on these problems and entering into a transaction that might turn out to be the worst deal in history and perhaps even worse, give Express Scripts the power to keep this scheme going, which might keep drug prices high for the next few years. This will result in having Cigna and the stockholders voting for this deal blamed for a situation they could have avoided….
Carl Icahn, yesterday:
In light of the ISS and Glass Lewis recommendations in favor of the Cigna/Express Scripts transaction and the significant stockholder overlap between the two companies, we have informed the SEC that we no longer intend to solicit proxies to vote against the transaction.
Don’t let that terse statement make you think that Carl’s all that unhappy about this. After nearly 60 years in the business, he’s quite philosophical about a deal born of “desperation” and “the height of arrogance.”
The crossover was too big and given what the advisory firms said we realized there was no way we could win. Sometimes you have to be flexible. There's no point in fighting just to fight. We won three proxy fights in a row which is really hard to do, so you lose one. It's the way of life.
Statement regarding Cigna [carlicahn .com]
Carl Icahn drops his fight against the Cigna-Express Scripts deal [CNBC]