WCI Communities issued a terse statement early today (June 6) reporting that an affiliate of investor Carl Icahn had officially joined the bidding process to buy the company.
"WCI Communities, Inc. (NYSE:WCI) announced today that an affiliate of Carl Icahn has signed a confidentiality agreement and has entered WCI's sales process as a bidder," said the statement, offering no further information.
Icahn earlier this year boosted his stake in WCI to 14% and made an offered to investors $22 of a share for their stock in an effort to gain control. Icahn has since let the tender offer expire and has been focusing on the June 15 annual meeting, where he has proposed his own slate of directors who would presumably look favorably upon his offer.
Shortly after Icahn started buying up shares, WCI enacted a poison pill provision and, later, put the company up for sale, saying it would entertain offers from Icahn as well as other comers, treating all equally. The company has said others have expressed interest in the company but has not identified them.
In a letter last week to the WCI board of directors, Icahn called for the company's June 15 annual meeting, which includes a directors' election, to be postponed for up to 30 days so that the sales process can be consummated. Icahn has put up his own slate of directors for election. "From our perspective, this sale process is just another camouflage to entrench yourselves for another year," the letter stated. He also accused the company of not letting him fully participate as a potential buyer in the sales process.
The same day, WCI filed information from an investors' presentation saying "we are concerned that Mr. Icahn's proxy fight for board control is a tactic that may facilitate his obtaining control of the Company without paying an adequate control premium." The presentation also said Icahn was invited "to fully participate in the sale process, including accessing private company documents, but the Icahn Group declined."
It has now apparently reversed that positon.