Icahn reportedly wants Pan Am head out

December 28, 1990|By Agis Salpukas | Agis Salpukas,New York Times News Service

NEW YORK -- Carl C. Icahn will seek to oust Thomas G. Plaskett as chairman and chief executive of Pan Am as a condition of helping the troubled carrier with a loan, an executive close to Mr. Icahn said yesterday.

The executive, who insisted on anonymity, said Mr. Icahn was planning to make a formal buyout proposal to the Pan Am board in the next few days.

Pan Am has maintained that despite the flurry of letters and telephone calls, Mr. Icahn has yet to make a formal offer.

Jeffrey Kriendler, vice president for corporate communications at Pan Am, said Mr. Icahn was going to deliver specifics of his offer Monday morning but that "we're still waiting."

And, reacting to the report of Mr. Icahn's call to oust Mr. Plaskett, Mr. Kriendler said, "That's preposterous."

Calling for the ouster of a chief executive is not unusual in takeovers, even friendly ones, since the new owners generally want their own management team. But it is unusual so early in the game.

The Icahn proposal would ask that Pan Am seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in return for a large loan to shore up its deteriorating cash position, the executive said.

Mr. Icahn also plans to make some buyout offer to shareholders, even though the carrier would be in bankruptcy, the executive said.

Pan Am sought clarification Wednesday about whether Mr. Icahn was still offering $225 million in cash and $150 million in subordinated notes, which he proposed Dec. 16.

Pan Am's cash position has reached the point where it is doubtful that it could keep operating long enough to reorganize without an infusion of cash or the quick sale of a sizable asset, such as the Northeast shuttle.

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