Billionaire investor Carl Icahn presses Apple for bigger share buyback


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The Independent Online

Activist investor Carl Icahn is trying to get more cash out of Apple, revealing plans to force a shareholder vote on returning more money to investors.

Icahn, who revealed a “large position” in Apple this year, yesterday announced on Twitter he has put forward a motion to increase the technology giant’s share buyback programme, to be voted on at the company’s next annual meeting.

The iPhone and iPad maker is reportedly sitting on a $147 billion (£90 billion) cash stockpile and has plans for a $60 billion share repurchase over three years but Icahn thinks this is not enough.

Icahn believes stockpiling the money represents poor value for investors, telling Time magazine in an interview: “Apple is not a bank”.

Even if the proposed resolution is approved, it is not binding on the company but would heap pressure on management.

Despite the move, Icahn also revealed he approves of Apple chief executive Tim Cook’s strategy for the company, saying: “Tim Cook is doing a good job with the business. I think he’s good whether he does what I want or not.” The pair have met several times since Icahn invested in the company. Icahn added: “We’ve discussed a lot of things, and he asked a lot of questions, and really listened.”

Veteran investor Icahn is used to battling management in a bid to force change, most recently taking on Michael Dell for control of his eponymous PC-maker Dell, a battle Icahn eventually lost.