Genzyme and Icahn abandon proxy row

ACTIVIST investor Carl Icahn has abandoned his proxy fight at Genzyme in return for the biotechnology company’s acceptance of two of his representatives to its board.

The agreement comes a week before the company’s annual meeting on 16 June.

Icahn had nominated himself and three allies to Genzyme’s board after a manufacturing
crisis lead to shortages of two of the company's life-saving drugs.

Genzyme has agreed to appoint two Icahn representatives – Dr. Steven Burakoff and Dr. Eric Ende -– and in return Icahn will withdraw his slate and vote his shares in favor of the company’s nominees.

“I think overall this is a positive,” said Michael Obuchowski, chief investment officer at First Empire Asset Management, which owns Genzyme’s shares and oversees nearly $4bn in assets.

“It avoids a continuing confrontation with Icahn and provides more oversight over the direction the company takes.”