Carl Icahn, billionaire investor and chairman of Federal-Mogul Corp., has bought half of F-M’s stock, giving him control of 75 percent of the company’s shares, according to recent reports.
Icahn used his option to buy 50.1 million shares of the company for $900 million, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The shares came from a trust that F-M formed to pay claimants in thousands of asbestos cases filed against the company. Those asbestos cases forced the supplier to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2001. The company emerged in December of last year with Icahn as its major shareholder, owning 25 percent of its stock.
Icahn named three new directors to the company’s board as part of the purchase:
James Vandenberghe, vice chairman at nearby Lear Corp., who plans to retire in May. (Lear shareholders in July rejected Icahn’s bid to buy the seating company.)
George Feldenkreis, founder of upscale clothing brand Perry Ellis.
James Laisure, a director at American Railcar Industries Inc., whose board Icahn also leads.
The three replace directors who had represented the asbestos trust.