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Carl Icahn: If eBay wants a proxy war I'll give 'em one

Nicole Goodkind
Nicole Goodkind
Daily Ticker

Activist investor Carl Icahn is at it again. This time the 77-year-old mogul is pushing eBay (EBAY) to spin off PayPal into its own company.

Icahn, who owns nearly 2% of eBay, is fighting to gain two seats on the company's board to get his way.

"I think PayPal might be acquired and that would make it even better for shareholders," Icahn told The Wall Street Journal. "And it's a shame to have it held back by eBay and that I think is what's happening."

Related: The great stock valuation debate: Blodget vs. Brown

PayPal is a core part of eBay’s current business strategy and brings in nearly $7 billion in annual revenue. And although eBay has sold off successful business ventures in the past (Skype was sold to Silver Lake in 2009) they are strongly opposed to Icahn’s urgings.

"We believe that our collection of assets drive more growth and more success together, than apart," said eBay CEO John Donahoe. EBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Marc Andreessen also took to Twitter to say they thought eBay and PayPal were best kept together:


Icahn is also keeping busy with Apple (AAPL). He has bought an additional $500 million worth of stock in the company, bringing his total to $3.6 billion. In addition to his purchase, he released an official letter to Apple shareholders listing the reasons he believes the tech giant should increase its stock buyback.

Related: Carl Icahn Poses Serious Problem for Michael Dell

"The S&P 500’s price to earnings multiple is 71% higher than Apple’s, and if Apple were simply valued at the same multiple, its share price would be $840, which is 52% higher than its current price," writes Icahn. "This is a dramatic valuation disconnect that simply makes no sense to us, and it seems that the company agrees with us on this point."

According to Icahn, Apple is against his proposal.

Related:  Apple CEO Tim Cook Has Better Things To Do Than Chat With Carl Icahn, Says Blodget

“I’ve finally figured out what Carl is,” says Yahoo Finance’s Jeff Macke in the video above. “He is an activist troll. I don’t mean that negatively, he’s very good at it. He's bragging about making billions on his Apple call even as he’s assaulting the board for being the biggest group of idiots he’s ever seen.”

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