Rafael Henrique | Lightrocket | Getty Images
Activist investor Carl Icahn on Thursday received sufficient assist from Illumina shareholders to put in certainly one of his three nominees to the biotech firm’s board of administrators.
Shareholders additionally ousted board chairman John Thompson. An Illumina spokesperson stated a brand new board chair can be chosen within the subsequent few weeks.
associated investing information
The vote was introduced after Illumina’s annual assembly, marking a decisive finish to a two-month proxy struggle between Icahn and the corporate over a controversial acquisition.
Shareholders voted to put in Andrew Teno, a portfolio supervisor at Icahn Capital LP, an entity the place Icahn manages funding funds.
Illumina, in a press release, thanked Thompson for his service over time, saying his government and enterprise expertise was deeply valued.
Earlier this month, proxy advisory agency Institutional Shareholder Services really helpful that Illumina shareholders again Teno.
Icahn, who owns a 1.4% stake in San Diego-based Illumina, had proposed two different director candidates who’re his present or former staff.
He additionally urged shareholders to vote off the corporate’s CEO Francis deSouza and Thompson from the nine-member board. Desouza survived the proxy struggle whereas Thompson was booted.
The vote is a blow to Illumina, which has claimed Icahn’s three nominees lack “relevant skills and experience” and would “threaten the progress” of the biotech firm’s core DNA sequencing enterprise.
Icahn has accused Illumina’s government administration and nine-member board of poor oversight, notably with regard to the corporate’s $7.1 billion acquisition of most cancers take a look at maker Grail in 2021.
He has referred to as on the corporate to unwind the “absurd and questionable” deal and oust its CEO Francis deSouza “immediately.”
Icahn has slammed the manager for receiving a large pay bump regardless of a steep drop within the firm’s market worth.
Illumina’s market cap has plunged to roughly $33 billion from about $75 billion in August 2021, the month it closed the Grail acquisition.
Much of Icahn’s resistance to the deal stems from Illumina’s choice to shut it with out approval from antitrust regulators within the U.S. and Europe.
The Federal Trade Commission in April ordered Illumina to divest itself of the acquisition over considerations that it might stifle competitors and innovation.
The FTC’s choice reverses an administrative choose’s September ruling, which dismissed the company’s preliminary problem to the deal.
The European Commission, the manager physique of the European Union, additionally blocked the deal final yr over comparable considerations.
Illumina is interesting each orders and expects ultimate choices in late 2023 or early 2024.
The firm has repeatedly defended its acquisition of Grail.
DeSouza instructed CNBC final month that the deal “makes sense” as a result of Illumina can considerably broaden the marketplace for Grail’s early screening take a look at, which might detect greater than 50 varieties of cancers by a single blood draw.
The CEO additionally touted Grail’s 100% income progress through the first quarter in contrast with the identical interval a yr in the past.
In 2022, Grail generated round $55 million in income. Illumina expects it to make as much as $110 million this yr.
Icahn encountered his personal criticism through the proxy battle.
Notable brief vendor Hindenburg Research accused Icahn Enterprises of being overvalued and likened it to “Ponzi-like economic structures.”
Icahn Enterprises has referred to as these claims “misleading and self-serving”.