Forest Labs makes push in late round of proxy fight

With the fate of its board of directors to be decided Thursday, Forest Laboratories ($FRX) sent yet another letter to shareholders today ahead of its annual meeting. It's the latest move in the drugmaker's battle with billionaire investor Carl Icahn over seats on its board.

Forest seems to be using every means at its disposal to block Icahn--who has a reputation for seeking control of pharma boards--from succeeding in his efforts to gain four seats on the company's board. This latest letter to shareholders is the second such communication the company has made in the past 5 days, Reuters reports. And the company, which last week gained proxy firm ISS's endorsement for its 10 nominees for the board, has been quick to rebut statements made by the Icahn camp.

The proxy fight has had some heated moments. The company, maker of the antidepressant Lexapro, lambasted Icahn board nominee Alex Denner last week for his statements to the press last week about his camp's desire for Forest to emphasize its efforts in the primary care market and consider budget cuts at the firm. Forest quickly responded by saying that Denner made "uninformed assertions" and the its "marketing strategy has always been focused on primary care."

According to Reuters, ISS's endorsement of Forest's board nominees hurts Icahn's chances of gaining board seats. But we'll be watching for the outcome of this battle later this week.

- read the Reuters report