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ORACLE BEA - Carl Icahn Threatens Proxy Battle For Control of BEA

Icahn is BEA's biggest shareholder with approx 15% of its stock

(October 27, 2007) - Billionaire Carl Icahn, BEA's biggest shareholder with approx 15% of its stock, has told a reporter that it is "insane" for the company to reject out of hand Oracle's unsolicited bid. "I'm not saying I accept $17," Icahn told Reuters. "It's going to be a three-month process." BEA is insisting that it's worth $21 per share.

Icahn has written a letter to the BEA board, disclosed in an SEC filing, demanding that it let shareholders vote on what the best bid for BEA might be.

The choices, he believes, ought necessarily to  include the existing $6.7BN offer from Larry Ellison's Oracle Corp.

In his letter Icahn states:
"If a topping bid arises, then all the better ... But if no topping bid arises it should be up to the BEA shareholders to decide whether to take the Oracle bid or remain as an independent company."
He added, scornfully:
"In particular I view your public declaration of a $21 per share 'take it or leave it' price as a management entrenchment tactic, not a negotiating technique."
In other words he believes the BEA board is actively obstructing any acquisition by Oracle, irrespective of shareholders' wishes. He would be willing, he has let it be known, to start a proxy battle for control of the company.

Carl Icahn's net worth is $14.5BN as of 2007, making him the 18th richest man in America. Larry Ellison still beats him, according to Forbes, at $21.5BN.

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