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Icahn says Oshkosh rejection misrepresents offer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Carl Icahn said Thursday that a letter sent by Oshkosh Corp.'s board to the company's shareholders urging they reject the activist investor's offer to buy the company "grossly misrepresents" his intensions.

In his own letter to Oshkosh's shareholders, Icahn said the company's letter is a "blatant and insulting obfuscation of my intent and the facts." He encouraged shareholders to either tender their shares in his offer or help him replace the company's board with his own nominees.

Oshkosh spokesman John Daggett on Thursday declined comment on Icahn's letter, calling it the investor's "latest attempt to distract Oshkosh shareholders." He noted that the company's quarterly results continue to beat Wall Street expectations.

Late last month, the Wisconsin-based truck maker's board recommended that shareholders reject Icahn's tender offer of $32.50 per share, saying that it undervalued the company and wasn't in their best interests. At the time, the price represented a 21 percent premium over Oshkosh's latest closing price.

Icahn is known for buying stakes in struggling companies and shaking them up to mixed results. He maintains that Oshkosh needs new management and a new strategy.

On Oct. 11, Icahn said he planned to make an unsolicited bid that valued Oshkosh at almost $3 billion, and also planned to nominate a competing slate of directors in a bid for control of the company. Icahn is the largest stakeholder in Oshkosh and also nominated his own directors to the board in 2011.

Oshkosh shares were down 87 cents, or 3 percent, to $28.18 in late trading.