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.