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Icahn takes stake in AmTrust, fights privatization

Icahn takes stake in AmTrust, fights privatization

Investor Carl Icahn has taken a nearly 10% stake in AmTrust Financial Services Inc. and announced he would oppose plans by the New York insurer’s owners to take the company private.

In a letter Thursday to Amtrust’s board, Icahn said he now owned almost 9.4% of AmTrust and strongly opposes the transaction to take the insurer private.

On March 1, Amtrust’s controlling shareholders announced a deal to take the company private.

Icahn’s filing disclosing of the ownership stake noted that “the reporting persons acquired their positions in the shares in the belief that the shares were undervalued.”

Icahn’s letter said his investment firm had been contacted by “a number of AmTrust shareholders” seeking his help in opposing the privatization transaction.

The letter said the buyers are “taking advantage of AmTrust’s minority shareholders” and that Icahn would work to scupper the deal.

“I am strongly against the proposed going-private transaction and intend to solicit proxies against the deal,” Icahn defiantly said to AmTrust’s board in bold letters across the top of his letter.

Icahn also said in his letter that setting a record date of April 5, 2018, without notifying shareholders or the market “disenfranchised” April buyers of the stock who believed they would be able to vote their shares in the scheduled June 4 vote on the privatization deal.




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