Icahn wants holders to have say on Navistar board

Icahn wants Navistar to let shareholders appoint at least 4 board members

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is asking Navistar to let shareholders appoint at least four board members so that stockholders can have more of a say in the decision-making process for the struggling heavy truck and engine company.

Icahn, who owns about 15 percent of Navistar International Corp.'s outstanding shares, said in a letter on Sunday that he continues to be concerned about Navistar's future and will proceed with a lawsuit and proxy fight if necessary.

He said the company's board should have consulted its four largest shareholders, including him, on recent management changes. Navistar's CEO Daniel Ustian stepped down about two weeks ago. The Lisle, Ill., company named Lewis Campbell, the former chairman, president and CEO of Textron Inc., as its executive chairman and interim CEO.

Navistar said in a statement on Monday that it was disappointed by Icahn's tactics and said it maintains ongoing talks with its shareholders and appreciates their input.

"The Navistar board takes its fiduciary duties very seriously and is committed to acting in the best interest of the company and all of its shareholders," the company said.

Navistar had struggled this year amid uncertainty about whether its Class 8 engine, used in the largest commercial trucks, would get Environmental Protection Agency approval. The company said in July that it was in talks with the EPA on a plan that would allow it to continue shipping trucks while it makes a transition to a new emission-reducing technology that will bring it into compliance with EPA requirements. The new technology is expected to be available beginning early next year. Navistar said then that the new plan would add to product development costs.

The company is working to cut other costs, is trimming its workforce and is considering putting some of its businesses up for sale.

Shares of Navistar, which have lost about a third of their value this year, dipped 6 cents to $24.70 in morning trading Monday.

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