OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Clorox Co. is turning down billionaire investor Carl Icahn’s offer to buy the company, saying the price of $76.50 per share is too low.
The Oakland-based company also said Monday that it is adopting a “poison pill” shareholder rights measure to ward off the bid from Icahn, who is the largest shareholder in Clorox. The company said it is committed to its current strategy, saying its own plans are the best way to create value for its shareholders.
On Friday, Icahn Enterprises LP offered to buy Clorox for $10.2 billion in cash. Rather than urge the company to take the unsolicited offer, Icahn said Clorox should shop itself to competitors, saying it could get a better offer from U.S. companies like Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive Co., and Kimberly-Clark Corp., or overseas rivals like Unilever PLC, Reckitt Benckiser and Henkel AG.
Analysts were uncertain that a competitor would want to acquire Clorox, which does most of its business in the mature U.S. markets and is not a big player in faster-growing overseas markets.
The stockholder rights plan will take effect if a person or group acquires a 10-percent stake in Clorox in a transaction not approved by the board. If that happens, the company will issue one stock purchase right for each share outstanding on July 28. Icahn bought a 9.4-percent stake in Clorox in December.
Shares of Clorox fell $1.51, or 2 percent, to close Monday at $73.04. They shed another 21 cents in aftermarket trading.
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