Forest declares victory in Icahn proxy fight

The final bell hasn't rung yet, but Forest Laboratories ($FRX) is declaring itself a winner. Preliminary vote-counting results from the company's annual meeting show that all four of the company's nominees won election, Forest said in a statement. That leaves Carl Icahn's (photo) four nominees shut out of Forest's boardroom--at least for now.

Forest has been pushing back hard against Icahn, who now owns more than 9% of the company's stock. Icahn and his people have been accusing the company of harboring deadwood on its board, botching its efforts to replace revenues soon to be lost to Lexapro generics and operating inefficiently. Not to mention criticizing CEO Howard Solomon, who was until recently facing potential exclusion from business with the federal government; the HHS dropped that action earlier this month.

"We greatly appreciate the strong support from our shareholders and the confidence they have placed in us by electing all of our highly qualified nominees," Kenneth Goodman, presiding independent director, said in a statement. The company had put forward three new members--Christopher Coughlin, Gerald Lieberman and Brenton Saunders--while bidding goodbye to longtime directors William Candee and George Cohan.

No word yet from Icahn's side. But don't count him out yet. After all, he spent three years working on Biogen Idec ($BIIB) and went through two proxy fights before winning three seats on the company's board. And he stuck out his fight at Genzyme until the company sold to Sanofi ($SNY) in February, Bloomberg notes. "Looking back on Icahn's recent history is probably a good judge on what he might do going forward," Miller Tabak analyst Les Funtleyder told Bloomberg ahead of the vote. For all we know, Icahn already has his next proxy-battle plan in the works.

- read the statement from Forest
- get more from Bloomberg
- check out the Crain's New York piece

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