The company issued a statement after Monday's closing bell, saying its board believes moving forward with its current strategic plan is the best way to generate value for shareholders, and that Icahn's offer of $76.50 per share "substantially undervalues the company."
Clorox also took a bit of a swipe at Icahn and his offer, which has been viewed by some as a rather transparent attempt to spark a bidding war for the company as he is its largest shareholder. Icahn's investment vehicle owns roughly 9.4% of Clorox's outstanding common stock.
"Our board has unanimously determined Mr. Icahn's unsolicited proposal is neither credible nor adequate," said Gary Michael, the lead director of Clorox's board, in a statement.Don Knauss, the company's CEO and chairman, discussed the longer-term performance of Clorox's shares in the release, as well as its dividend history, as it has doubled the payout in the past five years. "At Clorox, we have a proven track record of delivering superior financial returns to our stockholders," said Knauss. "Importantly, over the last three years since the start of the global recession, Clorox's total stockholder return was 43 percent versus 10 percent for the S&P 500 and 34 percent for our comprehensive consumer packaged goods peer group." Clorox also said it's adopted a shareholder rights plan with a 10% trigger as a way of "to assure that all of Clorox's stockholders receive fair and equal treatment in the event of any proposed takeover of the company and to guard against tactics to gain control of Clorox without paying all stockholders a premium for that control." The company said its board think it is "appropriate and prudent" to adopt the plan at this time. Clorox shares closed Monday at $73.04, down 2% on more than five times the stock's typical volume. Year to date, the shares are up 11%. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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