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FirstEnergy Jumps on Disclosure Icahn Plans to  Purchase Voting Shares

FirstEnergy received a letter from Icahn Capital saying the investment firm plans to acquire shares worth more than $184 million.
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Shares of power company FirstEnergy  (FE) - Get FirstEnergy Corp. Report jumped Thursday after the firm disclosed it had received a letter from activist investor Carl Icahn saying that his firm intends to acquire voting shares in the company. 

FirstEnergy said it received a letter dated Feb. 16 from Icahn Capital saying that it has a "good faith intention" to acquire shares worth more than $184 million but less than $919.9 million. 

The Akron, Ohio company said it does not know whether Carl Icahn and his affiliates have acquired the shares already, nor does it know his intentions with respect to FirstEnergy, according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. 

First Energy shares were up 7.2% to $34.24 at last check on Thursday, giving the company a market cap of about $18.6 billion.

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Separately, FirstEnergy announced that John Somerhalder has been appointed vice chairman of the company's board. Somerholder will help lead efforts to "rebuild trust" with FirstEnergy's external stakeholders as part of his new role, the company said. 

"His proven expertise in driving strong corporate governance and his external perspective will help FirstEnergy navigate its current challenges and objectives," said non-executive board chairman Donald Misheff. 

Icahn is known for pushing for sweeping changes to a companies' corporate governance once he invests in a company, often insisting on adding members of his choosing to a company's board. 

Icahn, one of Wall Street's most famous activist investors, has already made several  big moves in 2021, including acquiring a 27.8 million-share interest in pharmaceutical and medical device maker Bausch Health  (BHC) - Get Bausch Health Companies Inc. Report, and selling 60% of his holdings in Herbalife Nutrition  (HLF) - Get Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. Report back to the company for about $600 million.