Icahn wins again!

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about shareholder pressure rumoured to be behind the disposal of Bostik, the glue and adhesives manufacturer, by Total.

Yesterday however saw a classic example of how boards can fall sway to the power of shareholders, or as in the case of Carl Icahn, a very determined activist investor.

Earlier this year Mr Icahn, with his typical fervour, put forward the notion that the eBay board should divest of PayPal Inc, the online payments company that it purchased back in October 2002 for USD 1.5bn. This led to the eBay CEO, John Donahoe, expending a significant amount of time and effort to convince other investors that this really wasn’t the correct strategy for the organisation and that PayPal should remain part of the corporate group.

Yesterday’s announcement by eBay that PayPal would be spun out of the company and a potential listing sought has also brought about market speculation that other big Internet players may find this “item” too attractive to not be able to put in a winning bid to meet the rumoured value of USD 47bn.

I wonder if there’s a ”Buy it now” option?