Carl Icahn has another beef with Howard Solomon. The activist investor says he's suspicious about the Forest Laboratories CEO's sale of $500 million in stock over the last few years--at prices "well above the current market." It looks like "a savvy bet" against Forest's ($FRX) future prospects, Icahn says, aided by insider knowledge.
"We intend to thoroughly investigate by all available means whether the knowledge you had at the time you sold your stock was fully disclosed to other less fortunate shareholders and to determine how you were so prescient in selling your Forest stock," Icahn said in a letter to Solomon.
The letter is just the latest attack in a proxy fight that looks more and more like a head-butting contest. For the second year in a row, Icahn has nominated four men to serve on Forest's board, and last week, he accused the company of cronyism and mismanagement in a lawsuit. Now, Icahn is simply demanding that Solomon hand over the board seats he's contesting. Avoid a "contentious and costly proxy fight," Icahn says. Just give in.
But Solomon and his team show no sign of doing so. In its own epistolary response, Forest rolled a figurative eye at Icahn's letter, calling it a "theatrical display of self-serving rhetoric." Not to mention impotent; Forest said that Icahn's "public rants" are essentially useless. "As we did last year when Forest shareholders decisively rejected his slate, we will respond appropriately to Mr. Icahn in due course."