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Genzyme in Icahn's Sights

Stocks in this article: GENZ

Icahn is challenging Termeer's authority and pushing for more change at Genzyme with his burgeoning proxy fight, perhaps including Termeer's removal as chairman and CEO. Icahn increased his ownership stake in Genzyme to 4.8 million shares, or 2% of the company, as of Dec. 31, from 1.5 million shares earlier.

Icahn is no stranger to agitating for change at biotech companies he believes are being mismanaged, and therefore undervalued. After several tries, Icahn was able to seat two directors on the board of Biogen Idec (BIIB) last year. This year, he has nominated another three directors for the Biogen board and is involved in the company's search for a new CEO after the retirement of Jim Mullen (himself a likely casualty of Icahn's activism.)

At ImClone Systems, Icahn forced the old management team out, became chairman of the company and eventually helped get the company sold to Eli Lilly (LLY) in 2008.

Icahn also was responsible for the ouster, in 2009, of the chairman of Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN).

If Icahn's dissident board members are elected at Genzyme's shareholder meeting on My 20, Icahn will control four seats on Genzyme's nine-member board. Besides himself, Icahn has nominated as board members his lieutenant Alex Denner, Harvard University professor Richard Mulligan and Dr. Steven Burakoff, an oncologist at Mt. Sinai.

It's not clear yet which of Genzyme's current board members are being challenged by the Icahn nominations.

-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.

Follow Adam Feuerstein on Twitter.

Adam Feuerstein writes regularly for In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Feuerstein appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.
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