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TheStreet Open House

3 Deals to Watch: Icahn Clears Out of Clorox

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Buyout veteran Carl Icahn withdrew his nomination of a slate of directors, including himself, for Clorox's (CLX) board.

The revelation made in a 13D filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission puts his hostile $78 a share bid for the cleaning products giant in question. According to a filing at the end of August, Icahn owned roughly 9.5% of the company and was the company's largest single shareholder, holding close to $5 billion worth of stock.

Shares of Clorox fell nearly 6% to $65.09 in morning trading as investors weighed the impact on the removal of the slate of directors on a hostile takeover done at premium to market prices.

In July, Icahn first bid on the Oakland, Ca. -based company for $76.50 at a 12% premium to the market price at the time. In a letter to Clorox Chief Executive Donald R. Knauss that came with his bid, Icahn indicated that if his purchase were to go through, he would expect an investment gain with a subsequent sale. Icahn wrote, "potential 'Strategic Buyers' for the entire company in our opinion include Procter and Gamble (PG), Unilever, Colgate Pamolive (CL), Reckitt Benckiser, Kimberly Clark (KMB), and Henkel AG." His letter further explained that synergies with prospective buyers could warrant "even an acquisition of Clorox for $100 per share."

Clorox quickly rejected the bid saying, "Mr. Icahn's unsolicited proposal is neither credible nor adequate." Included in Icahn's initial bid was a letter from Jefferies (JEF) that showed it granted him $7.8 billion in debt financing to pay for the company he valued at roughly $12.6 billion when including its debt.

Icahn followed by raising his bid to $80 a share just days later, only to be rejected again. Not to be stopped, in August Icahn elected himself and a slate of directors in an attempt to oust Clorox's board. With Icahn loyal directors also came a drop in the bid price to $78 a share.

Friday's filing was accompanied by the admission that "a considerable base of shareholders" would not support the nominations.

In August, a defeated Icahn sold his holdings of Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) for $7 dollars a share, recording little if any gain.

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