CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (
) --Billionaire investor
executives and its board of directors Tuesday, and said he plans on fixing the company to help shareholders.
"Given that Genzyme's management has performed so poorly in the past, our first task will be to attempt to help fix what is broken," said Icahn in a statement.
"You need only read the financial press to know that Genzyme is ailing and its shareholders will benefit if strong medicine is applied. We have heard from a number of shareholders that they have very little faith in the current Board and believe that there should be a major shake-up in its composition," added Icahn.
Icahn notified Genzyme that he is seeking shareholder approval to
, including himself, on the company's nine-member board. Icahn increased his ownership stake in Genzyme from 1.5 million shares to 4.8 million shares, or 2% of the company, as of Dec. 31.
Genzyme is trying to recover from the
in the company's history. Sloppy manufacturing and quality control problems at its Boston facility over the past year led to shortages of two key drugs, Cerezyme and Fabrazyme, used to treat rare genetic diseases. As a result, Genzyme's 2009 earnings barely grew and revenue fell. Last week, the company forecast 2010 adjusted earnings guidance below Wall Street's expectations.
-- Reported by Adam Feuerstein in Boston.
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