OK, now you have seen a lot of shenanigans and a lot of success in failure in the world of activist investing. Now we have a new form of investor activism taking place: Front running your own activism ambitions! Carl Icahn has decided to tweet out to the world that he has sent a new letter to Tim Cook of Apple Inc. (AAPL).
We have previously shown that Carl Icahn wanted to use his $1 billion investment in Apple shares to make Tim Cook buy back up to $150 billion in stock. In his new Tweet, Carl Icahn said:
Just sent a letter to Tim Cook. Full letter will be disclosed on my website, the Shareholders’ Square Table, which will be launched tomorrow.
This is not illegal by any measurement in this instance, but if you have been an active trader you know that there can be many legal ways to front-run news. This is no different from Carl Icahn saying, "I have big news, and I will share it with you tomorrow. You can buy up shares today in hope of my news driving up the stock tomorrow when the news (really) hits."
As a reminder, Carl Icahn hosted Tim Cook at a dinner at his house recently and Mr. Icahn said it was a good conversation. This is another incident that may have more bark than it has bite but we wanted to share it with you.