Icahn bids $3-bn for Oshkosh in bid to merge it with Navistar

Billionaire activist Carl Icahn yesterday offered to buy Oshkosh Corp for about $3 billion, in an attempt to push for a merger between the heavy-duty-vehicle maker and its rival Navistar International Corp.

Icahn, who already holds a 9.5-per cent stake in Wisconsin-based Oshkosh, has offered to pay $32.50-a-share, a premium of 21 per cent to the company's 10 October closing price.

The offer has raised speculation that Icahn plans to merge Oshkosh with Navistar, where he also holds a 15-per cent stake that enabled him to wrest three board seats last week.

Icahn's cash offer for Oshkosh is not subject to due diligence or financing, but seeks to nominate his slate of directors, as a pre-condition for the deal to go through in the next 45 days,  though an extension is possible.

Icahn plans to demand that the company hold its annual shareholder meeting earlier than scheduled if 40.1 per cent of Oshkosh shares are tendered to his offer.

Oshkosh said its board is in consultation with its financial and legal advisers, and will advise shareholders of its position regarding the unsolicited tender offer within 10 business days.