REUTERS: Activist investor Carl Icahn has increased his stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp to almost 10per cent, scaling up his fight to take control of the oil producer, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported https://www.wsj.com/articles/carl-icahn-boosts-occidental-stake-to-almost-10-as-shares-plummet-11583969050?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1 on Wednesday.
Icahn, who held a roughly 2.5per cent stake in Occidental as of end-2019, has previously criticized its US$38 billion deal for rival Anadarko Petroleum as a misplaced bet on oil prices rising, and has promised a proxy fight to win control of the company.
Oil prices have plunged more than 40per cent this year, straddling Occidental with a debt pile of about US$40 billion from the Anadarko deal.
The Houston-based company on Tuesday slashed its dividend and announced cost cutting measures to allay investor concerns over profitability, saying the cuts would help it finance expenses, with oil hovering near the US$30-a-barrel range.
Shares of Occidental closed about 18per cent lower on Wednesday and have plunged 71.4per cent this year, as of the previous close.
Icahn, who has been pushing the company to consider putting itself up for sale, is seeking to replace Occidental's entire board, the WSJ report said.
Occidental's other large shareholders, including T. Rowe Price Group and Dodge & Cox, which together hold roughly 14per cent of its shares, are also frustrated with management, the report https://www.wsj.com/articles/carl-icahn-boosts-occidental-stake-to-almost-10-as-shares-plummet-11583969050?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1 said, citing people familiar with the matter.
Occidental, Icahn Enterprises, T. Rowe Price Group and Dodge & Cox did not immediately respond to Reuters' requests for comment.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)