Carl Icahn just employed a classic tactic in the activist’s playbook this morning by putting a bid out there on his portfolio holding Mentor Graphics ($MENT).
From the AP:
Activist investor Carl Icahn has offered to buy software maker Mentor Graphics Corp. for $17 per share in cash, or about $1.9 billion, according to a company regulatory filing on Tuesday.
The offer is a 17 percent premium over the Wilsonville, Ore., company’s closing price last Friday. The billionaire investor’s offer leaves room for Mentor Graphics to receive even higher bids without paying him a break-up fee, according to the filing.
Mentor is one of those boring, dependable software companies that should be a part of someone bigger any. Icahn’s gambit now forces any industry buyers (what we call “strategics”) to step up and do something. Classic shareholder activism, classic Icahn.
I’d also like to mention that should an acquisition of Mentor Graphics be consummated, Michelle Leder’s 2011 Top Ten Takeover Targets list (footnoted.org) will be 3 out of 10 – and it’s only February! UPDATED 1:40pm : I stand corrected as Mentor Graphics appeared on a different takeover target list, one involving activists and not footnoted’s filing research. The footnoted track record stands at 2 out 10, not 3 out of 10. For the accurate list of footnoted’s targets, see the link below.