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Master player promises again to advocate interests of other investors


Source: Fortune (published by CNN Money), October 23, 2013 article

Term Sheet  The latest on private equity, M&A, deals and movements — from Wall Street to Silicon Valley


Is Carl Icahn creating a shareholder forum?


October 23, 2013: 3:53 PM ET

Carl Icahn launching new website tomorrow.

FORTUNE -- When Carl Icahn tweets, people listen. So right now there is a lot of attention being paid to this:

It obviously will be interesting to see what he says about Apple (AAPL), including if he discloses his current ownership position. But there also is a broader question of what type of site Icahn is planning to launch.

You may recall that the famed activist launched a blog called The Icahn Report back in early 2008. It remained bare for the first several months -- Icahn blamed his lawyers for red-lining his posts into oblivion -- before he hired Reuters hedge fund reporter Dane Hamilton. Then it began to populate both with posts penned by Icahn and various guests. But the last such post came the following April, and Icahn has since communicated via SEC letter, television appearance and (most recently) Twitter.

We've reached out to learn more about Shareholders' Square Table, which currently looks like this:


In the meantime, perhaps Icahn gave some clues in a New York Times Magazine interview from 2005. Check out this exchange:

What else can be done to turn a company around?

What I am thinking of doing is setting up the shareholders' answer to the business round table. You could have shareholders meet regularly to air their views and report company abuses. You call it the shareholders' ''square table.''

Why square?

Just maybe shareholders will get a square deal.

So is this a sort of public forum for shareholders of companies like Apple? Maybe where they can express their support for Icahn's share buyback plan? Certainly this would be much easier to do with today's social Internet than it was back in 2005, and it would make sense for an activist investor to demonstrate third-party support for his positions (outside of proxy fights). Or perhaps this is simply a way to agitate for more shareholder-friendly regulations.

If Icahn calls back, we'll update this post. If not, check out that site tomorrow morning...

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