Icahn cleared July 1 by FTC to buy stake in troubled Tyco

Whether option exercised isn't immediately clear

July 16, 2002|By BLOOMBERG NEWS

EXETER, N.H. - Financier Carl C. Icahn got clearance July 1 to exercise an option to buy at least $50 million in securities or assets of Tyco International Ltd., according to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission document that became public yesterday.

Icahn isn't obligated to purchase Tyco shares or assets, and the document doesn't show if he has. The FTC must be notified of intent to do so if the transaction would include assets with voting rights that have a value of more than $50 million.

The commission sent an "early termination" notice to Icahn. The letter means that the agency doesn't see a regulatory reason to prohibit Icahn from buying the securities or assets, according to rules published on the FTC's Web site.

Tyco stock rose 75 cents to $14.48 yesterday. It has plunged 72 percent in the past year on accounting, strategy and liquidity concerns.

The company is the biggest maker of electronic connectors, undersea fiber-optic cable, security and fire alarms, plastic hangers and industrial valves. It's the second-biggest maker of disposable medical supplies.

Icahn has a record of taking stakes in companies he thinks are undervalued and trying to force management to make changes that will help him profit. He is known for his buyout of Trans World Airlines in the 1980s and his repeated attempts to take control of what was RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp. Recent targets include Morton's Restaurant Group Inc.

Tyco is based in Bermuda and run from Exeter, N.H.

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