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."
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:
Entire eBay board, including me, fully aligned that eBay + PayPal are best together. Disclaimer: eBay director, http://t.co/96XzqK4zex— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) January 23, 2014
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.
"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.
“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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