Failing with Forest CEO, Icahn presses non-exec directors to compromise

Carl Icahn is obviously getting nowhere with Forest Laboratories CEO Howard Solomon. Allow Icahn's nominees on the board without a fight? Solomon would have none of it. The prospects are naturally even worse, now that their public argument has turned acrimonious and personal.

So, as Reuters reports, Icahn has turned to Forest's ($FRX) non-executive directors. He's appealing to them to compromise. Allow him representation on the board, and he'll end his proxy fight for four seats.

"[W]hile I believe I will prevail in this proxy contest, the one thing that Howard Solomon and I do agree on," Icahn wrote in a letter to the board (as quoted by Reuters), "is that we both believe that an amicable solution would best serve all shareholders and would avoid a great deal of distraction and expenses for the company."

Icahn told Reuters earlier this week that Solomon rejected two proposals: One, that Forest replace two of its current directors with Icahn nominees. Two, that Forest add two Icahn representatives, leaving the rest of the board intact. The company's board wasn't interested, Solomon reportedly said. "If you are true in your belief that a prolonged proxy contest would be deleterious ... how can you be so hastily dismissive?" Icahn wrote.

Whether this appeal will get Icahn any farther than his previous forays remains to be seen. When Reuters asked the company to comment on the letter, a spokesman would only say, "We've seen it."

- see the Reuters news