Mar 12, 2020 - Economy & Business

Investor Carl Icahn increases his stake in Occidental Petroleum

Investor Carl Icahn

Carl Icahn. Photo: Heidi Gutman/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Carl Icahn increased his stake in Occidental Petroleum from 2.5% to nearly 10%.

Why it matters: Icahn has been feuding with Occidental since last summer, believing his $38 billion takeover of Anadarko Petroleum was too expensive and poorly structured.

  • Now he's taking advantage of macro conditions (coronavirus, Saudi-Russia deal collapse, etc.) to strengthen his hand, as Occidental's market cap has fallen to $10.5 billion and it just slashed its dividend for the first time in 30 years.

Icahn wants control, which would include a new CEO and a new board of directors.

  • The bottom line: "Many shale producers including Occidental were struggling to turn a profit even before the coronavirus and tension among big oil-producing states sent crude prices down sharply. Occidental is particularly vulnerable given its high debt level — roughly $40 billion at last count," writes the Wall Street Journal.

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