Billionaire investor Carl Icahn acknowledged a likely defeat in a fierce proxy fight, saying he did not think he had acquired enough support from shareholders to be elected to Motorola's board of directors, an Associated Press report said.
'I think it's going to be relatively close. I think it'll be tough for me to win,' Icahn was quoted by the Associated Press report, said. 'I congratulate them if they win. And I really hope they can produce what they say they will.'
The report said Icahn thought he had won the support of many small shareholders, but a lacked the backing of key, large investment funds he needed to overpower the Schaumburg-based company's management.
Company officials, who have maintained Icahn is unqualified for the post, said preliminary results from Monday's vote would be available in about three weeks, the report said.
The report said Motorola, the world's second-largest handset manufacturer behind Nokia, gained significant backing when the California Public Employees' Retirement System said it would support the company's incumbent slate of directors.
But uncertainty about the vote remained as the meeting neared, the report added.
Icahn and his affiliates have amassed a 2.9% stake in Motorola and spent months trying to convince shareholders that he could turn around its ailing fortunes, the report further said.
Motorola posted its first quarterly loss since 2004 last month and since October has lost about one-third of its market value.