Monday 26 August 2019

Billionaire investor swaps entire eBay stake for PayPal

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn. Photo: Bloomberg
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn. Photo: Bloomberg

Sam Forgione

Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn swapped his entire equity stake in eBay for the same number of shares in Pay Pal Holdings in the third quarter of this year, regulatory filings showed on Monday.

The filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that Mr Icahn sold his stake of 46.3 million shares in eBay and reported the same number of shares in PayPal, which completed its spin-off from eBay in mid-July.

Mr Icahn, whose PayPal stake as of September 30 amounted to 3.8pc of the company, had pushed for eBay to spin off PayPal last year and has board representation at PayPal through Icahn Capital managing director Jonathan Christodoro.

Mr Icahn eventually backed off from his push for the spin-off in April of last year.

But eBay directors and executives shifted their stance on the split in June of last year after a six-month internal study of the payments landscape.

Mr Icahn, who is known for taking large stakes in companies and pushing for management change, also showed that he took a 1.36 million share stake in American International Group during the third quarter, ahead of publicly pressuring the insurer to split into three companies.

In a letter to AIG ceo Peter Hancock in late October, he blasted AIG as "too big to succeed", a twist on the popular "too big to fail" phrase that emerged from the financial crisis. The size of Mr Icahn's AIG position had not been previously disclosed, and Mr Icahn may have increased the stake by the time he tweeted that he owned a "large" position in the company on October 28.

Mr Icahn was not immediately available for comment.

Irish Independent

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