Activist investor Carl Icahn has managed to maintain his spotlight as Motorola looks to spin-out its handset business next year in an effort to get it back on its feet. Yesterday, Icahn sent Motorola's board a letter that called the spin-off "much delayed and long overdue" but still a "step in the right direction." Icahn argues that "time is of the essence" for the mobile devices company, and wonders why it will take so long for Motorola to complete a spin-off. Here are the three questions that Icahn posed to the board:
- Why will it take you until sometime in 2009 to accomplish the separation
- Why does it take the threat of a proxy fight for you to make promises we all want to hear?
- Do you intend to carry out your proposals or will it be a repeat of last year's proxy fight strewn with a string of broken commitments? Obviously the tepid reaction of the market manifests shareholders' views concerning the value of your commitment. The only statement made in your conference call we totally agree with is that..."there can be no assurances that any transaction will ultimately occur."
Icahn goes on to call Motorola's board a "country club."
For more on the activist investor's response:
- read the full text of the letter here