VETERAN investor Carl Icahn has announced that he will push for Apple to increase its stock buyback programme, forcing a shareholder vote on the issue.
Icahn is calling for Apple to increase its existing buyback scheme by $50bn (£30.53bn). The proposal would not force Apple to act, but could put pressure on the board to surrender more cash to investors.
“Gave $AAPL notice we’ll be making a precatory proposal to call for vote to increase buyback program, although not at $150 billion level,” Icahn tweeted yesterday, referring to his other suggestions in October that Apple spend all of its reported $147bn cash pile.
In an interview with Time magazine, Icahn said: “Apple is not a bank,” having previously said that the board has more of a responsibility to increase shareholder value. He added that he believes Apple’s shares are still undervalued by the market.
The activist investor has previously clashed with Michael Dell, who founded the computer giant that bears his name. Icahn tried to block the attempt to take Dell private, which he insisted undervalued the company. In September Icahn admitted the battle against Dell would not succeed.