Carl Icahn offers to buy rest of CVR Energy at $29 a share

Activist investor Carl Icahn yesterday offered to buy the remaining stake in CVR Energy, five months after the company failed to find a buyer for the crude oil refiner and fertiliser businesses.

Icahn, who holds a 14.5-per cent stake and is the largest shareholder in the Sugar Land, Texas-based CVR Energy, had in February launched a $30 a share (or $2.6 billion) bid for the company, and had demanded a change in the entire board of the company. (See: Carl Icahn launches $2.6-bn bid for CVR Energy)

Under Icahn's cash offer, CVR Energy shareholders would also receive a ''contingent-value right'' that would entitle them to additional cash if he could sell the company for more than the $30 a share.

Billionaire Icahn's plan was to buy CVR Energy and then sell it to create value for shareholders. He had even named Western Refining, HollyFrontier, Tesoro Corp, Valero Energy, Marathon Petroleum, and ConocoPhillips as potential buyers for CVR Energy.

The CVR Energy board was forced to withdraw a so-called poison pill blocking hostile takeovers, when a majority of the company's shareholders in April tendered their shares in favour of his offer.

Icahn was then given seven board seats in CVR Energy's nine-member board and until the last week of July to find a buyer.

Even though 67.5 per cent of CVR Energy shareholders tendered their shares to his offer, Icahn could find no takers despite approaching more than 30 potential bidders. Icahn was seeking not less than $35 a share in cash.

Icahn, best known for investing in companies with an aim to make changes in the company's outlook and create more value for shareholders, has offered to buy about 82 per cent of CVR Energy's outstanding shares for $29 per share in cash.