US billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn today proposed to buy Clorox, a maker of household products including its namesake bleach, for about $12.6 billion, a move made to lure other potential bidders.
According to a disclosure filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and a letter sent by Ichan to Clorox CEO and chairman Donald Knauss, Ichan, who is the company's largest investor with a 9.4-per cent stake, has offered $76.50 per share, a premium of 21 per cent to yesterday's closing price.
Including debt, the transaction values Oakland, California-based Clorox at about $12.6 billion.
Clorox today confirmed it has received an unsolicited conditional proposal from Icahn Enterprises to acquire the company, saying it "received an unsolicited conditional proposal from Icahn Enterprises L.P. to acquire the company for $76.50 per share, subject to due diligence, financing and other conditions," and said, ''Clorox's board of directors, in consultation with its financial and legal advisers, will review the proposal in due course.''
Clorox, which sells bleach and cleaning products, home care products, dressings and sauces, water-filtration products, bags and wraps and containers, and natural personal care products, has recently struggled amid rising commodity costs.
The company offset higher costs with price increases, and in May posted an 8.5 per cent fall in its fiscal-third-quarter profit.